Harriet Lynn, artistic director of Heritage Theatre Artists' Consortium, will perform "Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man," on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Shriver Hall on The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
This one-woman cabaret show is based on the extraordinary life of Baltimore-born Ella Shields (1879- 1952), the legendary British vaudeville male impersonator who some say is the inspiration behind the title role in the musical "Victor/Victoria," starring Julie Andrews. Shields and Andrews performed together in a 1948 Royal Command Performance for members of the British royal family.
"Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man" features songs for which Fields was known and a historical perspective on her more than 50-year career. Shields opened the London Palladium in 1910 and performed several times in the United States on the vaudeville circuit, where she was famous for her male impersonation. In 1947, she was mistress of ceremonies at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore as part of an attempt to revive vaudeville.
Lynn has been an actor, dancer, playwright and arts educator for more than 25 years. She has performed in "Hello, Dolly!" and "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," both produced by the National Broadway Company. She founded Heritage Theatre Artists' Consortium in 1994 and has brought theater arts programming to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery and the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
This performance is part of the Wednesday Noon Series presented by The Johns Hopkins University Office of Special Events, now in its 36th season of cultural programming on the Homewood campus, and is cosponsored with Theatre Hopkins. Wednesday Noon Series events are open to the public and admission is free. For information, call the Office of Special Events at 410-516-7157.
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