Archiving is part science, part art and part intuition. It examines the minutiae of history, pulls on the thread of “what may have been” to identify our ancestors, the folk of trans history. Handwritten notes of the back of this photo identify the dancers “Carl and Harryette with Hot Chocolate Revue“ and that creates a bit of a mystery.
A revue called Hot Chocolates (that’s chocolates, plural with an “s”) opened at the Hudson Theater in New York City on June 20, 1929, music by Fats Waller and Harry Brook, book by Andy RaZAF. The show ran for 219 performances, until December 14, 1929. Carl and Harryette are not listed in the program, unless they were members of one of the dance groups like the Three Midnight Steppers or the Hot Chocolate Drops. That said, we are reasonably sure Harryette is on the right in the photo and that she cultivated a masculine persona on stage.