Queen of Vaudeville:

The Story of Eva Tanguay
Appearances, Readings, Events, Reviews

New York Magazine
's March 24, 2014 cover story on "100 Years of New York Pop" features a write-up on Eva Tanguay, calling her "the first goth." See clipping below and check out the article here

Speak French? If so, you might enjoy the front-page interview with the author in Quebec's Le Devoir newspaper.

Like The Eva Tanguay Facebook page. (Or don't.)

Queen of Vaudeville
has been named a Selection of the Book of the Month Club, BOMC2, and an Alternate Selection of the History Book of the Month Club.

You can check out the author talking about Queen of Vaudeville on YouTube.

  See Andrew L. Erdman take the Page 99 Test and cast "My Book, The Movie" at the Campaign for the American Reader.

(Upcoming and Past)

4/18/2015: Eva comes home to Holyoke,the very town where she began as a child performer. Scenes from Queen of Vaudeville, rendered by Mary Lorson as Eva Tanguay, and the author as pretty much every other part. Ms. Lorson also plays guitar and piano. AtWistariahurst Museum, 238 Cabot St., Holyoke, MA. 7:30 PM.

: Eva lands in Hollywood! Readings from Queen of Vaudeville, with a little help and music from Mary Lorson, at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA. 7:00 PM.

3/14/2013:  Hear the author interviewed about Queen of Vaudeville on WICN radio (90.5 FM, Worcester, MA), and available on podcast at WICN.org.

In Ithaca, NY? If so, check out Andrew L. Erdman and Mary Lorson bringing Queen of Vaudeville to life with readings and music. At: Buffalo Street Books, in the DeWitt Mall, 5:30 PM.

11/1/2012Andrew L. Erdman will give a presentation on the making of the 1952 Eva Tanguay biopic "The I Don't Care Girl" at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History conference at the CUNY Graduate Center.
[Cancelled due to storm.]

10/19/2012: The official Book Launch Performance Extravaganza! Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., NYC, 10009, 7:00 PM. Free admission. Discounted Books. Featuring Mary Lorson, Molly Pope, Carla Rhodes, and Katherine Wessling. Missed it? Watch the whole darn thing on YouTube!

8/31/2012 & 1/18/2013: Check out John Schaefer's inerview with Andrew L. Erdman on WNYC Radio's "Soundcheck©" show, also featuring the marvelous music of Bree Benton & Franklin Bruno.


"Erdman provides a wonderfully engaging portrait of a lost era in pop culture – one that has many links to the celebrity culture of today and the possible future trajectories for 20th-century forms of entertainment in the new age of virtual media and anonymous audience-performer interactions."Rebecca M. Alvin, Provincetown Magazine

“In his loving new biography of this long-forgotten celebrity, Andrew Erdman brings Tanguay back to life warmly.... You can almost feel the same electricity audiences of the early 20th century felt at just the mention of her name.” David Williams, Louisville Courier-Journal

“Erdman does a fine job of recounting Tanguay’s life and rise to stardom ... Anyone with a taste for pop culture should find this biography highly entertaining, just like Eva Tanguay.”
Patrica Uttaro, ItsAllAboutTheBook.org

"Mr. Erdman convincingly place[s] Tanguay’s stardom in historical perspective while still summoning the physicality that made her so popular in vaudeville (she was arrested in New York in 1909 for indecent dancing on a Sunday) but never quite translated to radio or movies."
Sam Roberts, New York Times, September 9, 2012

"...valuable, vivacious..." 
Andy Battaglia, Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2012

"Queen of Vaudeville is a treasure house of material..." 
Fiona Gruber, TLS (Times [of London] Literary Supplement), January 25, 2013

"Tanguay's reputation may be restored to its proper place..."

Joe Catalano, Ithaca Journal, March 7, 2013

"VERDICT: Erdman has captured the radiant essence of a woman from a bygone era—wholly of her time, yet curiously modern—and her complex personality jumps from the page. Combining detailed historical research with a deftly entertaining writing style, this book will be of interest to anyone in theater history, women in entertainment, and cultural history."Library Journal

Queen of Vaudeville is a lively, detailed biography of Eva Tanguay, one of the most popular performers of the early twentieth century. Andrew L. Erdman restores Tanguay to prominence and presents fascinating new details about her early life." M. Alison Kibler, Franklin & Marshall College, author of Rank Ladies: Gender and Cultural Hierarchy in American Vaudeville

Queen of Vaudeville is a revelation, and one long overdue! Eva Tanguay was an immense personality who pioneered a brand of American stardom. Andrew L. Erdman's book combines historical rigor with cultural insight to give us an understanding of America's first wild girl and, perhaps, those who have followed her.” Mary Lorson, musician and author of Freak Baby and the Kill Thought

“Andrew L. Erdman's deep research and vivid prose bring to life the story of a woman who defined American popular culture and celebrity and then vanished from memory. He reveals the fascinating trajectory of Eva Tanguay's life—from Quebec to Massachusetts to Times Square—and persuasively establishes her enduring importance for understanding what it means to be a woman and a star in the twentieth century. I highly recommended this book for anyone who wants to understand the past and present of American popular culture.” Robert W. Snyder, Director of American Studies, Rutgers-Newark, and author of The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York

A meticulously researched and yet entertainingly accessible biography of an unfortunately forgotten star, whose outlandish persona and passionate vocal style could be viewed as the template for every flamboyant female performer from Martha Raye to  Bette Midler to Lady Gaga.Charles Busch, award-winning playwright and author of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and Die, Mommie, Die!

Erdman's storytelling weaves in the historical grounding and context so valuable in a biography. I came away with a strong sense of Tanguay the person, including her quirks of impulse and her questionable choices in business and male associates. Queen of Vaudeville is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the entertainment industry.
Kathleen M. Golden, writer, director, and producer of the documentary film Three Vaudeville Women:  May Irwin, Marie Dressler, and Eva Tanguay.

Readers will care about the ‘I Don’t Care Girl’ after reading this fascinating account of the life of singer, actress, and vaudeville performer Eva Tanguay, little known today but a true eccentric who cultivated the outrageous cult of personality like a modern-day rock star well before such a thing existed in the popular culture. Paula Urburu, Hofstra University, author of American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century.


Check out singer/songwriter Mary Lorson singing her rendition of Eva Tanguay's signature song, "I Don't Care." That's Eva Tanguay doing her vaudeville thing in the old black-and-white-footage in the video. (Click on the song title "I Don't Care" to see the video. To learn more about Mary Lorson, click on her name.)

Have a look at Eva Tanguay's Wikipedia page, if you like.

Get Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay, by Andrew L. Erdman (Cornell University Press, $29.95). Purchase or pre-order now at Cornell University Press or Amazon.

Website Builder