After months of postponements, Magic Mike Live is finally playing in Sydney and it absolutely, utterly lives up to the hype. Beyond the chiselled abs and steamy moments, here's why we think all women should go see the show.
By women for women
We all know Magic Mike Live was conceived and directed by Channing Tatum. Perhaps less of us know that the film version was loosely based on the experiences of Tatum as an 18-year-old stripper in Tampa, Florida. Or that to create the live version, he asked many, many women their thoughts.
According to Alison Faulk, Teresa Espinosa and Luke Broadlick from the creative team, "the thing that Channing was so smart in doing was that he asked a LOT of women their opinions. He was like ‘I’m a dude, I don’t know what ladies want’, so he got a big team of women involved to help make this show what it is now."
What you get is a show that really taps into women's fantasies – think a CEO who pays women as much as men and a sexy musician who knows exactly what song to serenade you with.
Strong in the show is a message of empowerment and consent ('permission', after all, is the sexiest word in the English language). And with a female MC who wants, well, basically everything, you can be sure that your desires will be catered to.
Make a night of it at The Arcadia
Custom-built in a sleepy Belgian town, The Arcadia is the world's largest spiegeltent, a stunning, two-storey venue where there is literally no bad seat in the house. The 360-degree stage offers views you won't get anywhere else, and the set-up means that wherever you are, at various stages throughout the show a dancer will be within almost-touching distance.
Patrons are encouraged to come early and stay late to enjoy the unique indoor-outdoor atmosphere. Plus, there's a well-stocked bar with beer, wine, specialty cocktails and elegant snacks – we ordered the unicorn spritz and were not disappointed. Another clever touch is the ability to order drinks straight to your seat via the menu's QR code during the show.
What we loved, though, were the extravagant details and the atmosphere as soon as you stepped foot inside, from the studded leather lounges to the wooden spiral staircases, which were curated by Channing Tatum himself and the creative team.
A socially distanced good time
Yes, some things have changes since the show was first announced by Channing Tatum himself in 2019. For starters, there's a reduced capacity crowd, in accordance with government health advice. The upside of this is that you're more likely to get some one-on-one action with one of the guys – believe it or not, we lost track of how many times one of them smiled his dreamy smile at us while making eye contact, or clenched his tightly boxered butt in front of us.
A factor in the show's appeal pre-COVID was the audience interaction and while physical touching is now a no-go, the show doesn't lose out because of it. Show co-director and choreographer Alison Faulk says "The way we explain it in the show is kind of fun, it doesn’t take you out of the moment... You still get to be a part of the show."
Importantly, Magic Mike Live has a too-good-to-be-true ticket exchange policy, which you can read about here.
Go for the talent, not the costumes
For a show about male strippers, there's a lot more than stripping going on. Delving into what gets women breathless and sweaty, it turns out that, surprise surprise, women don't want men in cliched costumes in a seedy venue. Instead, we want someone who can show us the moves on the dance floor, as well as someone who can sing us a love song but also hit the drums, tap dance, hip-hop and ask us about our day. All while wearing nothing more than jeans or briefs.
The quality of performance from the dancers was exceptional, which is why, more than simply a show about strippers, it really is a dance and acrobatic spectacular. Beyond that, by evoking women's real desires, it's an intoxicating, thrilling experience.
Check out our gallery of photos from the Australian premiere
Magic Mike Live is now playing in Sydney and opens in Brisbane in November; get your tickets here.