Last summer, many otherwise composed women squealed with delight at the news that "Magic Mike," a film about male strippers, was headed for Broadway.
Well, now those ladies have reason to squeal again, because the film’s producer Gregory Jacobs has confirmed that the production will include "audience participation".
"Oh, you definitely might get a lap dance," Jacobs tells Vulture. "Absolutely. That's happening for sure."
It’s worth noting that while there have been numerous films about the lives of female strippers — think Show Girls and Striptease — none have been made into musicals, and none made it onto the New Yorker’s best films of the year list, as "Magic Mike"did.
This would suggest the public is far more comfortable male strippers than female ones.
So how comfortable are we with muscle men grinding up against us in our plush theatre seats? Should every attendee at "Magic Mike" expect some physical contact? What if they’re not interested in being sweated on by the next Channing Tatum?
“I would certainly have clear guidelines about where the boundaries are, both for performers and audience members,” says Toronto-based entertainment lawyer and theatre producer Derrick Chua.
He also advises “clear signage posted and information available to the audience about what exactly they are entering into, and ideally an acknowledgment and release from audience members about the nature of the show, and their consent for such activities.”
That being said, Chau says that if the show's audience participation is similar to a Chippendales show, than it would likely be no big deal here in Canada -- that is, assuming the musical ever makes its way here.
But wait, isn’t a musical featuring a cast of male dancers giving erotic lap dances just a big fancy expensive strip show? Why would the public dish out that kind of money?
"If it connects emotionally, if the dancing is phenomenal, if the music is moving, it goes beyond what you see at the local strip club,” says Corey Ross, the president of Starvox Entertainment and one of Toronto’s leading producers of theatre.
While it may surprise some that a Broadway musical about male strippers isn’t ruffling any feathers, Ross reminds us that this really is nothing new.
“To a certain degree we’ve already been there when the film 'The Full Monty' became a musical,” says Ross. “Other shows go much further than a striptease and have toured."
For example, the Australian theatrical show "Puppetry of the Penis" had performers manipulated their genitals into interesting shapes. And "Naked Boys Singing" has run for years in New York City.
So if the "Magic Mike" musical does make it over to Canada — be sure to warn your mom about the potential man-on-old-lady contact.