Moulin Rouge Café. 416 South Wabash Ave. Courtesy Chicago Tribune.
In 1925, Stage Manager Dan Blanco took a chance on hiring the volatile Evelyn Nesbit as the star attraction at Bill Rothstein’s Moulin Rouge Café.
Newspaper advertisements warned that this engagement was “Positively Miss Nesbit’s Last Public Appearance,” which was far from the truth but may have attracted crowds. It was quickly apparent that Bill Rothstein had a sensational hit on his hands.
In her cabaret act, Evelyn wore striking black and white gowns. She no longer danced professionally (as she had in vaudeville). Instead, songs filled her act. The cabaret pace was perfect for a middle-aged mother.
During her appearance at the Moulin Rouge, Dan Blanco and Evelyn Nesbit would cement a long-lasting relationship and, within a few years, she would grace the stage at his new establishment, Rush Street’s Club Alabam.
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The Blackest Sheep: Dan Blanco, Evelyn Nesbit, Gene Harris and Chicago’s Club Alabam is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other online bookstores.