The Wondrous Life of America’s First Male Impersonator

Annie Hindle Scandalized and Titillated Audiences, But Her Talent Won Them Over

On June 6, 1886, Kerr B. Tupper, a Baptist minister in Grand Rapids, Michigan, presided over the marriage of a young couple. The groom gave his name as Charles E. Hindle and listed his profession as “actor” on the marriage license. The bride’s name was Anna Ryan. The marriage was not the first for the groom, although there was no indication on the license that he had been married before. There was also no indication that Charles Hindle was, in fact, not an actor, but rather British-born actress Annie Hindle, …

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When Variety Theaters Tantalized the Frontier West

In 19th-Century Spokane, Risqué Performances Set off a Battle Over Civil Morality

In the spring of 1897, Spokane, Washington’s Spokesman-Review published an exposé of its city’s thriving red light district—known as Howard Street. The newspaper lingered on distasteful scenes in variety theaters …