Welcome to the Chippendales: What true story is the Disney+ series inspired by?
Welcome to Chippendales It’s coming to Disney+ and this new series has something for everyone. fans magic mike lovers of news and news will be pleased to find the sulphurous atmosphere of clubs where male stripping is king. real crime will have the opportunity to discover an incredible true story worthy of a great thriller. Striptease, disco balls, trickery and murder: SFR News reveals what really went on behind the scenes and on the fringes of the creation of the first Chippendales shows!
Long before Channing Tatum hit the screen magic mike, there were Chippendales. The word, which has become colloquial when referring to the strip, reflects men, but was originally the name of a troupe of dancers created by a long-toothed entrepreneur who thought the American dream was good no matter what. It is this story that deserves its best episodes Let the accused enterWhat does the series say? Welcome to Chippendales, available on Disney+ starting this Wednesday, January 11. Want to discover facts that inspire fiction? Fasten your seat belts, pull up your suspenders and get comfy as we take you on an eventful journey into the world of men’s dressing.
Over 8 episodes, Welcome to Chippendales It tells how businessman Steve Banerjee created the first strip club for women in the 1980s and how he fell into hell after success. The story of an American dream turned into a nightmare when rhinestones and glitter give way to low blows and suspicious deaths pile up.
Somen “Steve” Banerjee: a guy who wants it
Born in Bombay in 1946, Somen Banerjee left India in the late 1960s to try her luck in the United States. Somen is now called “Steve” and has only one goal: to become a rich man at any cost. He moved to Los Angeles, where he started out by managing a gas station, before moving on to serious business, entering the nightlife world with a bankrupt disco he turned into a strip club. At first, it was women’s wrestling shows in the mud organized by Steve in his club, which did not have much success. It was in 1979 that our man finally came up with a brilliant idea that would save his treasure: he found a troupe of strippers and organized parties reserved for women. At that time, such a thing was unheard of, and every performance was sold out in the small nightclub. It should be noted that Steve Banerjee did not come up with this concept alone. Promoter Paul Snyder, a pimp in his spare time, gave him the idea. vice historian Natalia Petrzela:
“Paul Snyder saw men doing striptease at a gay club and thought it would be fun for women to do the same. He pitched the concept to Banerjee and that’s how it all started.”
First, Steve asks Paul to choreograph numbers for the newly christened Chippendales troupe. However, the collaboration between the two men will be short-lived. On August 14, 1980, Paul Snyder killed his wife, playmate Dorothy Stratten, before killing himself.
To perform it, Steve hires famous choreographer Nick De Noia, who elevates the shows and brings a real artistic touch to what was until then only a strip. The public loves it, the press praises the show, and the money flows. So everything might be going for the best, but the tide is going bad between Steve and his new partner. The two men constantly argue and disagree about the artistic dimension of the project. In 1984, Nick moved to New York, where he created his own Chippendales show with another troupe, donating half of the proceeds to Steve to use the name.
Nick’s show is a real success and soon turns into a tour: the Chippendales Universal Tour. And if this tour brings Steve a lot of money without caring about it, it also feeds the jealousy that the businessman begins to feed towards the horegaf…
Rififi in the night world
Nick De Noia’s Chippendales exploded the popularity of the concept Steve started. The show became a cultural phenomenon that the media went crazy for, and Nick was invited to the shows to talk about it. His face and name are now so associated with fashion shows that he is given a social nickname “Mr. Chippendales”. A popularity that Steve doesn’t like, his jealousy of Nick gradually turns into pure and hard hatred. Steve Banerjee, in particular, faces many problems: he is suspected of burning down a rival nightclub and loses a racial discrimination lawsuit after refusing to enter a black student’s establishment.
An increasingly isolated Steve is now convinced that Nick isn’t really giving him 50% of the revenue from his shows and is stealing from him. Steve then hires former police officer Ray Colon and asks him to help him take Nick down. On April 7, 1987, Nick De Noia was shot and killed while sitting in his office in New York. And for several years this crime will go unpunished.
Steve Banerjee: death in skin
His failure to investigate Nick’s murder emboldens Steve, who buys the rights to the Chippendales tour after the choreographer’s death and tries to make the success his own. But pride and anger soon lead him back to crime. In 1990, the man decided to call Ray Colon again to eliminate three of his former collaborators: former Chippendales dancer and choreographer Michael Fullington and two other former members of the establishment. It turns out that the trio left the Chippendales to strike out on their own, forming a rival troupe called Adonis: The Men of Hollywood. You’ll understand: Steve Banerjee has a bit of a hard time accepting the competition.
He who believes that he will get it, gets it
At Steve’s behest, Ray Colon hires a contract killer to deal with the three dissident Chippendales. But it’s reporting to the FBI instead of execution. After being arrested, the ex-cop agrees to help the FBI entrap Steve Banerjee by recording his confession without his knowledge. In September 1993, he was accused of hiring Colon to assassinate Chippendales creator Nick De Noia and plotting to kill three former dancers. Steve Banerjee pleaded guilty, but committed suicide in his cell on October 23, 1994, hours before the sentencing.
Epilogue and Legacy of the Chippendales
The Chippendales license is no longer owned by the Banerjee family and has survived the scandals that hampered its rise. Today, the troupe continues to perform in Las Vegas on tour or during residencies. In 2020, Steve’s son Christian Banerjee launched his own male strip show and formed a new troupe: Strippendales. “My father was guilty of the ‘Chippendales’ case, now I’m stripping naked to make money. (…) It was my destiny”he said New York Post. I wish him success this time without losing anyone’s life.
Sources: Time, Vice, The New York Post, Disney+