A Revolution In Three Acts: The Radical Vaudeville of Bert Williams, Eva Tanguay, and Julian Eltinge by noted pop culture journalist David Hajdu (The Ten-Cent Plague) and artist John Carey profiles four visionary performers whose careers began in the 19th century era of the blackface minstrel show and eventually influenced the character of vaudeville, a new form and venue for mass entertainment in early 20th century America. The book examines the lives and careers of the brilliant Black comedic duo of Bert Williams and George Walker, who appropriated and challenged racist stereotypes from the blackface minstrel tradition; Julian Eltinge, a wildly popular white female impersonator and early exemplar of gender fluidity; and, the outrageous Eva Tanguay, a white woman and proto-feminist whose performances defied every Victorian-era standard of female propriety. This three-page excerpt introduces Williams and Walker and the beginnings of their performing careers. The book will be published in September by Columbia University Press. Excerpted from A Revolution in Three Acts: The Radical Vaudeville of Bert Williams, Eva Tanguay, and Julian Eltinge by John Carey and David Hajdu. Copyright (c) 2021 Columbia University Press. Used by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.