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Sashes, lashes and matching dresses anyone? Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girl! Looking for a reason to celebrate?
Chippendales is a touring dance troupe best known for its male striptease performances and for its dancers' distinctive upper body costume of a bow tiecollarand shirt cuffs worn on an otherwise bare torso. Established inChippendales was the first all-male stripping troupe to make a business performing for mostly female audiences. Through the quality of its staging and choreography, Chippendales also helped legitimize stripping as a form of popular entertainment.
Is watching men strip any different from watching women strip? There seems to be the need for some sort of building work on stage. You think they would have got all that fixed before the show.
Chippendales is now known as a kitschy Las Vegas striptease extravaganza at which bachelorette parties and wasted moms scream their faces off while getting lap dances from oiled-up beefcakes in thongs and tiny bowties. In fact, it has been for 20 years. Yet the wet, hot American dream soon turned sour, as the excess of Chippendales money, drugs and sex resulted in arson, racketeering, murder and suicide.
One evening about 20 years ago, my best friend and I crammed ourselves into our tiniest, most restricting little black dresses, hoisted ourselves up onto our highest, shiniest heels and toddled our way over to a club on the east side of town where the Chippendales dancers were performing. It was my 21st birthday and my friend Kim thought Chippendales would be a humorous way to celebrate my entry into womanhood… or at least my entry into the age where it became legal for me to drink. Her gift to me was to expand my horizons, and it would start with male strippers.
But another member of the list, Chippendales, soon may be off, if, as its owner promises, it uproots itself from its nine-year Westside site and moves out of the city. The club has a sex discrimination suit pending, has lost its liquor license and may have its fire permit permanently revoked. This Friday, it will relocate temporarily to another area location.
Why is this relevant? Again, read that as an endorsement or a caution. If you want porn-vid puns and four guys in tighty whities to straddle you or your BFF bachelorette, call the "Men of Hooters.
And we don't mind any of that — so long as they come to see us with an open mind. Having spent a day with nine members of the fabled, strong male "dancing" troupe which started out 30 years ago as a nightclub act in New York City and was named after founder Steve Merritt's partiality to Chippendale furniture, I can confirm that this last part, at least, is true. The "Chips" as their entourage call them, are in London for one sell-out night after a day stint at the Edinburgh Festival, and they are a pretty slick outfit — even without the baby oil. In one two-hour performance the boys — some of whom have regular seven-night-a-week gigs in Las Vegas — will manage 16 costume changes and more acrobatics than seems sensible for men of their girth and stature.