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In April and May 1998, the Lex-Ham Community Theater produced Bullets and Beauties, an audience-participation murder mystery by Urban Landreman dealing with the gangster era in St. Paul in 1932. The show is set at the Boulevards of Paris nightclub - an actual club which operated from 1929 to 1934 at the southwest corner of Lexington Parkway and University Avenue (see map) in St. Paul.  Gregory Schott was the director.

In that era many gangsters, including John Dillinger, Alvin Karpis, Machine Gun Kelly, and Ma Barker and her sons, lived in St. Paul - before ending up in Alcatraz, Leavenworth, or other prisons.

The play was shown at O'Gara's Bar and Grill at 164 N Snelling Avenue (click here for a map) at 7:30 p.m. on April 23, 25, 30 and May 1 with a buffet supper and at 3:00 p.m. on April 26 and May 3 without a meal. 

Cast photo

Cast members from Bullets and Beauties
Back: Jim Penson, Karl Grahek, Urban Landreman, Matt Smith, Heidi Walsh, Jeff Brown, Lynne Holman, Chris Ebner, Steve Pretsch, Roger Paulson, Paul Quie, Jerry McNiff
Front: Cara Walsh, Sarah Spangler, Shira Levenson, Anand Balasubramanyan, Jody Smith, and Patrick Landreman

Band members

The Boulevards of Paris Orchestra - Elmer Pierre, Paul Zenner, and Bill Mattocks.
Liz Gibba, as Marjorie LaFleur, was the vocalist

Fast Eddie and Maria by a car

Jeff Brown, as Fast Eddie Van Dyke, and Heidi Walsh, as his girl friend, Maria,
pose by one of the vintage period autos which parked by O'Gara's during the shows.

Exterior of Boulevards of Paris

A view of the original Boulevards of Paris at the southwest corner of Lexington and University.

Boulevards of Paris dining area

The Boulevards of Paris featured fine European dining and had a decor to match Parisian restaurants.

Boulevards of Paris dance floor

The Boulevards of Paris had a famous dance floor and was the host of many famous musicians.

The photos of the Boulevards of Paris are through the generosity of Marie McMahon, the granddaughter of John Lane, one of the original owners of the Boulevards of Paris.

Bullets and Beauties takes place in 1932.  Herbert Hoover was president, but running for re-election against Franklin Roosevelt.  

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Last updated: 6/8/2000