Arts & Entertainment

Men of Chippendales coming to Tri-Cities

The scintillating Men of Chippendales come to the Tri-Cities on July 23 for a show that is sure to add some heat to an already scorching summer.

Showtime is 8 p.m. at the King of Clubs nightclub at Classic Island Casino, 8524 W. Gage Blvd., behind Columbia Center mall. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. VIP seating also is available for $25. Tickets are available at www.chippendales.com or at the nightclub.

The all-male revue hasn't just brought generations of women delightful entertainment for nearly 30 years, it's also had a pretty shady past.

According to information found on the Internet source Wikipedia, Los Angeles club owners Steve Banerjee and Bruce Nahin wanted to liven up their club's entertainment so they hired choreographer Nick DeNoia to groom a handful of attractive young men on the art of the dance, laced with a heavy dose of striptease technique.

The venture started out as a lucrative idea with DeNoia credited with playing a key role in the Chippendale success story.

But the relationship between Banerjee and DeNoia would soon lead to the doom of the Chippendale legacy. The two men fought over creative control of the troupe, but Banerjee eventually filed for bankruptcy.

DeNoia also filed a lawsuit against the club owner over the rights to the Chippendales' touring shows, which ended with DeNoia entitled to most of the control of the troupe.

The choreographer moved to New York and was murdered soon after. Banerjee was under suspicion for DeNoia's death but was never charged.

The club owner was charged later with hiring an FBI informant to kill three Chippendale dancers loyal to DeNoia.

Banerjee eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering and murder for hire. But he committed suicide in his cell just hours before he was to be sentenced.

Banerjee's widow sold the Chippendale company to its current owner, Chippendales USA.

Despite its violent past, the men still are gorgeous and the Broadway-style Chippendale shows are as popular as ever all over the world.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald .com

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