Tag: cross-dressing

Nantucket History & People

The First Cross-Dressing Performer on Nantucket

“Hello possums!” was how Dame Edna Everage greeted her throngs of admirers for more than 60 years. Barry Humphries, an Australian-born comedian, actor, author, and satirist, who created the character of Dame Edna, passed away in April of this year. Humphries’ one-man shows alternated between satirical monologues and musical numbers, interspersed with improvised moments and audience participation. Dame Edna never performed in the Great Hall of the Nantucket Atheneum, but another cross-dressing performer did so nearly 100 years before Humphries created his iconic character. A man named Marshall S. Pike performed there on multiple occasions in the 1850s, and his career as a musician and performer led him from Nantucket to the bloody battlefields and hellish prisons of the American Civil War before he found his way home again.