The Cotton Club
For a moment in time, it was the most stimulating, successful, notorious nightclub in America. On stage, the best of black talent tapped, shimmied, sang the blues and blew a new kind of jazz, in shows as spectacular as any Ziegfeld extravaganza. The audience was composed of stars, socialites, slummers and the elite of the underworld who headed uptown where the action was --to shell out a staggering $5.00 cover charge for the privilege of pouring their own bootleg booze.
It had a racial policy that would baffle an emerging nation. The show-stopping stars were black. The showgirls, all under 21, were of mixed backgrounds and the audience was white only as were the directors, designers, choreographers and composers who used it as a stepping stone to Broadway and Hollywood.
Its owner was Owney Madden, a gangster with a penchant for making peace between rival mobs. He demanded...and received...impeccable behavior, even from such volatile patrons as Dutch Schultz and Mad Dog Coll. Planning a murder... or even a massacre was acceptable social behavior. But the execution had to occur off the premises.
Starring Richard Gere and Gregory Hines.