Magic Mike Live
Spiegeltent Moore Park
Written, Directed and Produced by Channing Tatum
Choreographers Luke Broadlick and Teresa Espinosa
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
Upon receiving an invitation to see Magic Mike Live, I was looking forward to an intriguing evening of prestidigitation, conjuring and illusion. Then I read the media release and found out that I was to see a bunch of buffed, male dancers taking their clothes off.
The show opened with the cast members dressed like an expanded version of The Village People appearing on a square, in-the-round stage in the Spiegeltent in the grounds of The Entertainment Quarter. The top-knotted host, speaking about the sea captain character, proffered such witty knee-slappers as, “all hands on dick”, “the captain is coming”, and he also said something about seaman on your face. It was like revisiting an old Carry On movie.
The ensemble of performers are all talented, excellent dancers in the break style and many of them are also skilled in other forms. One performed an impressive and engaging tap routine and another seemed to be an exponent of the Brazilian dance/martial art of capoeira. Another displayed his circus skills on the trapeze. There was also a stunning, eye-catching, wet stage duet that was performed by one of the male dancers and the only female dancer, Max Francisco.
Apart from the skills of the performers, the emphasis was equally on the male stripper aspect of the production. There was plenty of shirt-off action and six-packs galore. Peni were not evident, however there was no shortage gyrations, pelvic thrusts and simulated sex. Subtlety and understatement were not directorial priorities in this production.
The illusion was helped along by narrator and Rebel Wilson doppelgänger, Amy Ingram, who talked us through the show with a multitude of innuendoes and continuing exaltation of the performers.
I regard Magic Mike Live in the same way in which I perceive mime artists, slam poets and Croatian folk dancers. I admire, respect and appreciate the tremendous amount of skill that the exponents possess, but it has limited appeal for someone like me.
That stated, there is definitely a market for this production and I can already see the gaggles of hens parties trundling east down Parramatta Road and converging on Moore Park.