Monday, 17 April 2017
Madame Sherri's Castle
Ruins of the elaborate house where the enigmatic costume designer threw glamorous parties for New York's theatrical elite.
The tragic tale of Jay Gatsby may have been a figment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s imagination, but New England has its very own, very real version of the larger-than-life character: its local queen of scandal, Madame Sherri. The glamorous eccentric threw fabulous parties at her “castle” in the middle of the forest, and drove around the town in a custom-made cream Packard car, with a monkey perched on her shoulder.
Madame Sherri, born Antoinette Bramare, married actor and dancer Andre Riela in 1911, and the couple moved to New York and changed their name to Sherri. Mystery surrounds the reason for this name change as well as other aspects of their life together. In New York, Madame Sherri made a name for herself designing elaborate costumes for Broadway productions, most notably the Ziegfeld Follies. After her husband’s death, she decided to build a unique structure in the woods of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, to hold parties for her theater friends.