The Curse of the Chippendales, new discovery + documentary series,, peel off the curtains of the Chippendales saga, a distorted (and almost incredibly real) story involving murder, international human hunting, and more oiled men in g-string. The is a famous man The show began as a stuntman in Los Angeles in the 1980s, but soon became embroiled in numerous scandals, including the 1987 murder of Chippendales choreographer Nick De Noya and two others planned hits of dancer and producer – all organized by Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee.
Now available for streaming, The Curse of the Chippendales includes interviews with former Chippendales dancers and friends of De Noah, including Chippendales associate producer Candice Mayeron. Below, in her own words, Mayron took his time touring with the company– and why she knew Banerjee was in the back De Noahis death from the beginning.
It has an “e” Magic Mike and “e” in Chippendales – and that’s where the similarities end. Chippendales was an iconic theater for participation, a visionary both for its entertainment value and for what it was trying to achieve. Not only did the girls scream to shout at our shows, they were really having fun.
Until October 1987, I was an associate producer of the show. I steered a tight ship because I wanted our people to be respected and to act in a way that would make us respected. I helped Nick De Noya, our brilliant producer and choreographer, turn our boys into Chippendales men. I helped him hire men, make reservations, and manage the dancers. Once some of our boys were arrested for disturbing the peace. I went to the police station to save everyone, and the next day I knocked on my door. When I opened it, there was a grape card on the front that said, “Thank you.”
My job was not as easy as people think. But the hardest part was telling my boys that Nick, whom many of the Chippendales men saw as a father, had been killed.
I will never forget my first Chippendales show. It was the early ’80s, and at the time I was working in Los Angeles as a stockbroker with EF Hutton. Chippendales was originally a backgammon disco and I played for fun in the back room. One night there was a lot of noise from the front room. I couldn’t believe what I saw: dancing men dressed as cavers, calling, and even a charming prince.
A few months later, I decided to get involved. At a show, I picked up a dollar and a string dancer came. I asked one of the waiters, “Who is the genius behind all this?” He pointed to a very attractive man with silver hair standing in the back of the room. It was Nick De Noya.
Our relationship has developed organically. I started helping Nick photograph the Chippendales calendar and trade in goods. One of my tasks was to hire and train the hosts and waiters. I took part in bodybuilding shows, but quickly found that all I had to do was go out during the show, where the boys lined up to wait to be discovered. Nick would put them in the collar and cuffs and black spandex. If they looked good, we let them walk around the room. Nick used to say, “I want to know what the girls think, I go into the ladies’ room and listen to what they’re saying, and I come back and tell me.” So I would resign myself a little in the mirror and eavesdrop.
By the time Chippendales expanded to New York, I was at the club almost every night. We had eight shows a week, and the boys were used to Nick giving me notes to give them. I would ask them, “Two hours before the show, and two girls come up to you and ask for a picture, what do you tell them?” Most boys would say, “Yes, of course I would take a picture with them.” wrong, wrong. “
Chippendales was not the place where women came to admire attractive men, Chippendales was the place where women came to admire from attractive men. I would tell the boys to find the least attractive lady in the room and compliment them. The moment I told them, they understood the truth.
When the show went on tour in 1986, Nick asked me if I would come too. Our show was called “Original Chippendales” and that’s an important distinction. Nick had retained the rights to the show after parting ways with club owner Steve Banerjee, who was about to make a brand new show at his club. That’s why Nick’s touring show became the original Chippendales show.
There were no rules on the road. I was not a warden or guardian of men and I am not their mother. As long as they didn’t mess with women under the age of 18, they could do whatever they wanted. Wait, that’s not true, I had one rule: No haircut without my permission. I hired a man in Indianapolis who had this beautiful long, blond hair – very Leonine – and when he came to work the first day, it was all gone. Then I said, “No one gets a haircut without my permission, and I never give permission.”
Although I was only a few years older, all the boys listened to me. They were like a bunch of little brothers or puppies – very playful and fun to be around.
At that time, Nick and I became very close. He was really brilliant at what he did. I still remember our last dinner together, just a few nights before he was killed in April 1987. A hotel in London debuted in a brand new resort and wanted “The Original Chippendales” to be the lead actor at the opening of the weekend. We were so excited. The next day, Nick flew to New York to sign the contract, so we went out to celebrate. This would be the first time he left the company entirely to my management, but he was convinced that this would not be a problem. Tonight we greeted each other and looked forward to the future and what it could bring.
I was talking to Nick on the phone a few days later when he suddenly said, “I can’t talk, I have to go.” This was our last call so far. I think we were actually talking when his killer came in.
An hour before the show tonight, I received a phone call from a family friend who told me that Nick had been killed. Nothing in life prepares you to receive such news. I mean, who knows someone who’s been killed? I didn’t know how to deal with it. All I knew was that the show had to go on – that’s what Nick wanted. But I had to keep the boys from understanding. I told the club that no one could enter except women with tickets and absolutely no press. Then I dropped a note in the locker room that read, “Mandatory meeting right after the show.”
There is a moment in the show when the “ideal man” is revealed for the first time. The perfect man is always the best looking of all the boys. No matter how strong the club is during the show, it increases tenfold when the perfect man comes out. So I opened my mouth and let out a primary cry. No one heard me because the room was louder than my scream. I shouted, screamed and screamed in grief. Everyone’s attention was, of course, on stage.
When I told the boys in the locker room after the show, one of them jumped up and shouted, “I’m going to kill that bastard Steve Banerjee.” He wanted to escape the room in a T-shirt and get revenge. There was no doubt in my mind that this was Steve.
Steve and Nick had quarreled. Nick was a silvery New Yorker who kept on TV talking about Chippendales. They started calling him “Mr. Chippendales. “I think that fueled Steve’s anger at Nick. Their verbal battles became fierce. I was with Nick for so long and I never knew there were other enemies. Connecting the points wasn’t that difficult.
After Nick’s death, I remained as an associate producer. Before each show, we silently congratulated Nick. The men also really defended me, escorting me back to my room after performances, so I never felt in danger. Five months later, I left the company and returned to Los Angeles to start my own production company.
In 1994, news emerged that Steve had been arrested for attempting to kill some former Chippendales dancers who had formed a new group called Adonis. I called the FBI and said, “Attempted murder? Steve in fact killed a man seven years ago. “At FBI headquarters, I explained why Steve Banerjee was behind the murder of Nick de Noya. Later, an FBI agent told me that they already had a fair amount of what I gave them, but that I had managed to fill a lot of vacancies. Steve was eventually charged with Nick’s murder.
I couldn’t miss Steve’s sentence. I was on the steps of the court with our MC and two of our dancers when someone came out and said there would be no hearing because Steve had committed suicide in prison the night before. I felt cheated, big moment.
My only closure comes with more time. The pain of losing Nick recedes, but never goes away. Talking about him and this resurgence of interest in Chippendales helped me heal in the sense that I could keep Nick’s memory alive – so that he could be remembered as he would like to be, who was like an unsurpassed director of the show. . I was so happy to be a very small part, for a moment in time, in a truly iconic form of entertainment – and I was honored to deal with Nick.
This interview has been slightly edited and shortened for clarity.