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Cabarets [Friar's Inn]

Source: Variety, 23 September 1921, pg. 8.

In Chicago's Loop, there is one cabaret that has really made the wiseacres turn from their predictions and admit management can revive an "also ran." The spot is Friar's Inn, on whose walls many an interesting tale is written. Since May 1, M. J. Fritzel has had this cabaret under his wing. He formerly guided the destinies of a west side cabaret, the Arson's. At the time Fritzel changed his ownership the loop cabaret did not hold encouraging prospects; in fact, the steady stream of incomers was a thing of the past, and prohibition had left its mark of emptiness. A general overhauling was undertaken by Fritzel and the redecorating process was begun. He brought in his reliable cast of cabaret entertainers, shot out a heavy advertising campaign, instituted professional nights, and today Fritzel has a good reason to sit back with the satisfaction that he has overcome the handicap which has obliged so many other cabarets to put up a "closed" sign. There isn't a dead moment from the time the place's doors open until they close. Eight people keep things humming with their singing. The first to step in and chase away the "blues" was Herbie Vogel, a chap who has worked for Fritzel for six steady years. To the patrons he is a drawing card, and he sang his comedy numbers as the crowds wanted them to be sung. Sid Erdman is another steady entertainer of this place and he teams with Vogel in many numbers. Madge Kieffer was induced to leave Al Tearney's and join the Fritzel ranks, and she is an old-timer in cabaret entertainment. vaudeville has sent two pretty girls to warble here, and they are Leonetta Ball and May Smiley. Both wear flashy wardrobes and bang over for strong attention. Isabelle Jason, cabaret's favorite "Frisco impersonator," yipped it up for fair. She has always been a local favorite. Helen McDonald slipped in an individual hit, besides joining in doubles and quartets. To all this string of thoroughbred cafe stars, Pinkey's Society Jazz Band, a sextet, played for the dancers and entertainers. This band has been with Fritzel for eight years, besides devoting two years to Paul Biessie and his bands. At this writing the boards hold the Six Brown Brothers for professional night, having just entertained the "Passing Show" a week ago. Perhaps the fact that Fritzel has these permanent entertainers, without a revue or chorus, is partly responsible for his success at Friar's Inn.

[End of news article]

Dance Hall News Archive—Article List

Page compiled: 9 April 2000

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