Harold Rubin and Sam Younghans presents: The Chez Paree: A tribute to the famous Supper club of the 30s through the 50s. This site will be dedicated Donjo Medlevine, one of the  owners of the Chez Paree.

The Chez Paree
Stories

Submitted by people who were there, read or heard stories. 

To Other Submitted Stories

 We are searching for any stories,  photos or memorabilia relating to Donjo Medlevine and  the "Chez Paree" in Chicago.  If you have anything you would like to submit, or, if you have any questions about the Chez Paree, we will post them, and add any answers that are submitted. click here for a contact form. We verify your email address, If you do not receive an email from us, re-submit with the correct address.  Allow  two weeks before re-submitting.

David Roth with his sister on Jimmy Durante's knee.
 David
gave me permission to take this off of his Site. 
This photo was taken at the Chez Paree.
 Photo credit goes to Annette Rochetti

Submitted
Chez Paree
 
Stories below.

Please note: The domain name of the sender has been changed to "chez" but you can still click on the address and send that person an email. This is to protect you from sick spammers who scan the web for email addresses. 
Email with all capital letters are difficult to read and takes up too much space. they will not be posted on this site.

If you will note, it has been almost a year since I posted anything. I was getting so much spam from the site, that I discontinued opening them. Spammers- Go Home!!  If I  feel you are legit I will post it. Give me a hint about the club that spammers wouldn't know and I will know you are okay. Also, I will no longer post your email address. I will post responses under your posted email.  Sorry about the idiots in this world. If you don't want your phone number on the site, Let me know.

10/01/2008 - Sandy Singer -  sinatradj@chez.com  WAPB RADIO Nashville, TN
My folks started taking me to the Chez when I was 12 years old.  I have been in radio and TV all my life. Peggy Blade told me about this Site.  I was a friend and student of her dad, incredible pianist, Jimmy Blade, husband of one of your adorable Adorables. My URL is now www.SandySinger.biz  Check out.
Thank you
Sandy Singer

02/192008 - Brownie, Pamela - browniepts123@chez.com
Organizaton: Brownie Points Communications
City: Chicago, Illinois 
   Hi I am the daughter of Lou Brownie who was the Monday night orchestra leader at the Chez Paree.  My dad, who passed away about 12 years ago told many wonderful stories about the Chez and I remember him speaking of Mr. Medlevine. My dad's name is on a plaque  in the hallway of that building  and years back I met Mr. Schatz who invited my stepmother and I up to his office to see memorabilia.  I also attended a revival event prior to that.  I love this website.  My dad would tell a great story about Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin who  had lines around the block and Jerry said, come on in and the crowds surged in and Jerry jumped on the tables, leaping from one to another.  There are more stories to tell.  My dad was very proud of is working at the Chez Paree and said it helped make his career which was a long one. He would talk about Sophie Tucker.  About an evening when all the generals of the army came in together. And many more stories.  When we visited Las Vegas in 1971, we stayed at the Riviera because I remember that Dingy Halpert was the owner.  We went to shows there and my dad said that many of the Chez Paree waiters were there and we visited with them.  He also would talk about the Chez Paree Adorables.  Thanks for this website.  Hope to read more from you.

02/072008 - Neville, Mary - irishdolly@chez.net
Organizaton: just me
City: Chicago, IL 
  I remember hearing when I was a kid, maybe 10  or 11 years old, that George Liberace  was performing at the Chez Paree.  This was around 1959.  The big thing that stuck with me all these years is that someone stole his incredibly valuable violin!!!  I wonder if he ever got it back.  Also I walk past the old building on Fairbanks all the time.  Now I see it's the Pritzker military library. That's all!   Wish I could have personally experienced it!  
 

09/27/2007 - Grindas, John and Julie - Wake Forest, NC - 919 562-7358
 Julie and I were living in Davenport in late 1959 when we visited the club. There is an amusing story about that night (Martin and Rossi were the warm up and Nat Cole was starring). Julie was quite pregnant and I was not quite drunk. If you wish the whole story, please let me know. It is a cute one.
Best wishes,
John Grindas  
Response: John: Be delighted to hear  the whole story. I may post it, with your permission.
Regards, Sam

01/11/06 Spies, Mike - aggiebigmike@chez.com Montgomery, TX
 My grandfather passed away in December. After he died, I learned that he once sang for the Gay Claridge Orchestra which frequently played at Chez Paree in Chicago. I am looking for more information about The Gay Claridge Orchestra shows from the late thirties and early forties that took place in the Chicago area. If anyone knows anything about them, please feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance

01/06/06  Note if you want this email left on the site send it with small letters. This will be removed on 02/15/06  JAUW, MO - MOBCSAM@chez.NET CHICAGO, IL
HAVE  SAME  LITHOS 773-8782228
  I HAVE BOTH THE VERY SAME PRINTS I BOUGHT AT AN ANTIQUE GALLERY IN TOWN AND AM ALSO TRYING TO GET INFO AND THEIR CURRENT VALUES. HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY AND ARE THEY EMBOSSED TRUE LITHOS. PLEASE CALL AS I DO NOT FREQUINT THE WEB

01/04/06  Hill, Dan - dlh925@chez.com Naperville, IL  
       I have a silver dollar sized silver token with 100 on the bottem,with your Chez Paree crest, is it of interest to anyone. Thanx, Dan

01/03/06   Jacobson, Nancy - kjacobson2@chez.com Chatsworth, Ca 818-407-7188
    I have two Chez Paree coins, thay are about the size of a half dollar and are gold in color with the Chez Pree emblem and 100 on the bottom of the coin. Do you know if they have any value. I would also like to know what they were used for. Thank You

12/23/05 underwood, alicia - alice@chez.com west dundee, il 6307301635
     my mother appeared at the chez pare when she was very young   i had a picture of her with jimmy dirante and other celebs with a group of soldiers  she was in a pesant costume    she was a ballarina.   i misplaced this photo and really would like a copy   thanks alice

12/13/05  KABAT, BETTY - lot99@chez.com Sun City West, Arizona 
   hello...I am Betty Kabat Arliskas, I am a Chez Paree Adorable from the 1940's. I have many pictures, many meneories & I will be in touch soon. Kindly, B

12/03/05  Machnikowski, Julius - JMachnikow@chez.net
City: Chicago, Illinois 
      My grandmother's first cousin was Bonnie Lee Duffy Dispenza, she was a Chez Paree adorable in the early 40's probably.  Does anyone remember her? I could send a photograph

12/03/05 Rosenfield, Lawrence - l.rosenfield@chez.net Aspen, Colorado
970-920-6813
  Did Jane Froman ever perform at the Chez, if so when ? Thanks and Good Luck. LIR

11/30/05  Tamara, Joyce - jetneo@chez.net
City: Los Angeles, CA
       I spent a magical evening at the Chez Paree when I was 4 or 5 years old, around 1955 or 1956. Thank God my parents couldn't find a baby sitter! I remember seeing a beautiful woman sing "Tina the Ballerina" and it made a great impression on me. Does anyone know who she was and was she a dancer as well as a singer? - Joyce

11/30/05 Falkenstein, Glenn - MagicESP@chez.com
City: Los Angeles, Ca
 My father, Louis Falkenstein, was the operater, and one of the owners of the Hi Hat Club.  I'm enjoying your web-site.  If I can help you with your project feel free to contact me.  I did attend opening night of Martin and Lewis at the Chez, with Dad and Mother.  I remember seeing Willy Shore there too. Willy was a regular at the Hi Hat for about 10 years, but took the week off because Joe E. Lewis was doing the week at the Hi Hat.  I have a couple of checks paid to singer Helen Morgan, which shows how much stars were paid in those days! Anyway, good luck on your project...Glenn Falkenstein. 

11/30/05  Singer, Sandy - SinatraDJ!@chez.com WAPB RADIO Nashville, TN
My folks started taking me to the Chez when I was 12 years old.  I have been in radio and TV all my life.  Check out www.SandySinger.com Peggy Blade told me about this Site.  I was a friend and student of her dad, incredible pianist, Jimmy Blade, husband of one of your adorable Adorables.  

11/11/05  Kalafsky, Sheila - johnandsheila@chez.com City: Salem, OR 503-585-7916
 November 11, 2005  Dear Sirs: Can you forward this message to Mrs. Decker. Thanks ahead, Sheila Kalafsky This is for Janet Decker:  We have the very same picture that you posted on this site, by Josef Nuytens.  I've done quite a bit of research on his art, his life and am wondering if you are interested in purchasing our picture which is the very same image by this artist. We were going to put it up on Ebay, but saw your post in our research of Mr. Nuytens.    Please contact me at: johnandsheila@chez.com 
PS:  The picture was found behind a very old mirror that came from Chicago and I presume it was from Chez Paree but am not sure.

11/02/05  nuyttens hataway, linda - carlhataway@chez.com Cibolo, TX
Organizaton: Someone In Time, Digital Video Productions, Inc. 210-737-0251
 was looking over your webste on my great grandfather Pierre Nuyttens  The family has several etchings and oils.If you are intrested in finding more on him you may email me.

11/02/05  Claywell, Jo - britsmaw1@chez.com 
 I am trying to find any information concerning Alan Dodd, who sang at the Chez sometime during the 1930's.  His real name was Harry Alan Parkinson, but I believe he used the stage name Alan Dodd.  I realize this isn't much information, but thought I would give it a try.  Any help would be appreciated

10/28/05  katz1, marilyn - mkatz@chez.com chicago, illinois 312-953-1225
       I grew up at the Chez with my dad Phil Katz who was a confidante of these guys.  WOuld be interested in knowing more.

10/21/05  McInturff, Wanda-Lou - swanmoon@chez.com pa 
I am asking that you add your prayers to mine for Robin Carter, daughter of Maurice Medlevine.  Robin lost her home to Katrina & her job and three weeks later, found out she has Acute Leukemia and is in the Jackson University Hospital, Jackson, Mississippi.

10/19/05  Webb, Steven - stevenwebb@chez.com Whitesboro, TX 903-564-7454
  I have been a fan of the 1940s all my life.  I work for an investments firm that researches commercial property and business opportunities for hard money investors.  A business associate and I have discussed creating a reproduction 40s era entertainment establishment.  I would be very interested in knowing the floor plan and layout of this historic establishment.  I am trying to estimate what will be necessary for my planned undertaking to get off the ground.  Any reply is greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance.  Steve Webb, Texas  

07/07/05  Ignowski, Bob - bobsjt111@ches.com  Schiller park , Illinois 
 I would like to know if 610 N Fairbank is the only Address the chez paree had in chicago or if they had another address. Thank You.....Bob Ignowski      

08/24/05 Hill, Jamie C. - Purrfectpurrs@chez.com  Purrfect Purrs Olde Tyme Siamese
City: Winter Park, Florida 407-312-4636
zzI modeled for Pierre many times and as a gift he did a rather large portrait of me which I treasure to this day.  He used to take me to the
Chez Paree many times.  I remember the band of Lou Breeze, with whom I am close friends with his daughter and I remember seeing Sophie Tucker.
It was a grand place with the  style and the flamboincy of a true nightculb.  Small Stage, BIG acts.  

7/27/05  Schneider, Rona - pupsqueak@chez.net Los Angeles, CA - 310-276-2121
My mother was a Chez Paree Adorable  around 1940-1942.  She used the name Evelyn Lynn or Evelyn Leely.  Nee Evelyn Levy.  She was probaly one of the shortest dancers they every had.  About 5" 3 or 3 1/2 inches But an excellent acrobat. She is now 84 years old. She met my father Harold Schneider there. I have been trying to find a Chez website for quite a while.  Do the Adorable have any reunions?

04/23/2004  King, Gary - gking@chez.COM 
  The University of Oklahoma football team was in Chicago to play Northwestern in their opening game of the 1959 season, and, while dining at the Chez Paris, several members of the team became extremely ill with food poisoning. Everyone suspected the local gamblers of sabotaging the OU team, Based upon the certain people who got the food poising - basically those players on the first two teams.
   When the OU players  went into the restaurant, the waitress took them to meet this older gentleman who was sitting with a very good looking young girl. She wanted to meet all the Oklahoma players, and she asked them what positions they played.
   When the team was finally seated, they began serving the food to particular individuals instead of serving straight down the line. Within about thirty minutes the OU players were in the bathroom vomiting their guts out. Two days later they lost to Ara Parseghian's Northwestern team 45-13. Apparently the gamblers were happy.

05/18/2004 - Krulish, James - OartelKrulish@chez.Com
Chicago, Illinois
 Costumer for Chez was Maybelle Shearer - her husband always delivered the costumes to the Chez and one delivery was murdered.  Don't remember details - can probably be checked through the police department.  The elevator only run one floor was set up to think you were going up or down  - it ran very slowly.  I saw Mae West there with her "boys" and Sophie Tucker.  The Chez Paree Adorables were very pretty and sexy and were good dancers. Be glad to share any other information I can come up with.

THE BILLBOARD, Vol. XLIV, No. 44,- Oct0ber 29, 1932

Mike Fritzel To Open New Chi Night Club - CHICAGO, Oct. 22 - Mike J. Fritzel, for many years conspicuous in the cafe field here and formerly operator of the Arsonia and the Friar's Cafe, has leased the former quarters of the CHEZ PIERRE CAFE on the near North Side, for five years from January 1, 1933, for a total rental of $51,233.
Fritzel intends to open an elaborate night club on the premises. The work of remodeling has already started and the place will be done over in modernistic design at a reported cost of $35,000.
Fritzel's Friars' Inn was padlocked by the federal authorities in 1926, and his Arsonia Cafe met a similiar fate in 1928.

 

From the BILLBOARD Magazine, Apr. 20, 1935
CHICAGO, April 13. - The Chez Paree, one of the town's most popular night spots, will close June 15 for a couple of months during which time extensive remodeling and rebuilding will take place.  It is planned to eliminate several posts in the large room and enlarge it by taking the space now occupied by several smaller rooms.  It is said that a penthouse will be erected on the roof for private parties.  During the alterations Mike Fritzel and Joey Jacobsen, operators of the Chez Paree, will vacation in Atlantic City and the East.

 

 

 

 

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