A Swing Opera
The Gypsy Queen
(as Tess 'Aunt Jemima' Gardella)
'Aunt Jemima' | Tess 'Aunt Jemima' Gardella | Aunt Jemima
Did You Know?
Ms. Gardella was a white Italian-American stage performer, but her usual stage persona, and actual stage name, was "Aunt Jemima", which she performed in blackface. It was in this persona that she played Queenie, the African-American cook, and wife of Joe, the deckhand, in the original Broadway production of "Show Boat" in 1927, as well as the first Broadway revival in 1932. She was the only white...