Magic Mike Live will thrust and grind its way into Melbourne in 2020

by Tim Williams

Things are going to heat up in Australia next year and I’m only partly talking about global warming. Magic Mike Live will thrust and grind its way into Melbourne on May 26th of next year, promising audiences a thrilling and sexy live spectacular. Based on the hit films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL and co-directed and co-conceived by its star Channing Tatum, Magic Mike Live offers an immersive live experience like no other. Get ready for a night of dance, comedy and incredible acrobatics of the shirtless variety that’s bound to get the blood pumping. After successful stints in London, Vegas and Berlin, it’s Australia’s turn to feel the magic.

And how immersive are we talking? ‘Pretty, pretty immersive’ says cast member Jake Paul Green with a wry smile. The ‘adults only’ audience will be able to get up close and very personal with fifteen of the world’s most talented male dancers inside the 600-seat Spiegeltent, the largest in history. ‘There’s pretty much nowhere in that space we can’t climb and jump onto.’ Green says. Nicknamed The Arcadia, Tatum and his creative team have meticulously crafted the two-storey space to become a character in its own right, with a mini food hall, custom bars and an indoor/outdoor lounge area. ‘They’ve tried to really utilise the stage in a way that no matter where you are, you have a group of girls to perform to.’ Husbands and boyfriends, you have been warned.

If you want to know the target demographic of Magic Mike Live you need look no further than the line of excited, predominantly female, punters snaking its way outside the Plaza Ballroom for today’s launch. ‘We try to make the place a safe space for girls to feel like they can let their hair down a little bit’ Green says. Nonetheless, both Tatum and Green also maintain that Magic Mike Live is an inclusive environment that will appeal not only to the ladies. ‘Oh man, the guys get into it.’ Green says. ‘Guys will come in with their girlfriends and sit arms crossed for the first half hour then by the 40-minute mark, it’s arms uncrossed. Then it’s leaning forward and standing up.’ So if you’re thinking about leaving the husband or boyfriend at home, maybe think again. Maybe. ‘The guys really get into the athletic performance quality of it rather than the stripping. And they might get some brownie points when they get home as well.’

Inside the ballroom, the lights dim and the lucky few in attendance are treated to a small taste of what to expect next year. After a video package, each of the performers emerge lit by spotlights all around the space before converging onstage and briefly transforming the Plaza Ballroom into the world’s largest hen’s night. Finally, the man of the hour graces the stage to formally make the big announcement. Prior to acting, Channing Tatum famously worked as a stripper, his experiences becoming the inspiration behind Magic Mike. ‘It’s not easy to give a good lap dance,’ Channing jokes to the adoring crowd.

As it turns out, Tatum is right and Green outlines the arduous audition process that landed him the role. The process was not only designed to test the performer’s dance ability and choreography (including learning how to give lap dances) but also to gauge their personalities and see how they interact with women just as themselves. And what of Channing’s role during this process? ‘He played a very extensive behind-the-scenes role’ Green says. ‘Every piece of footage that was recorded on the rehearsal days he has gone through.’ Magic Mike Live constitutes five years of work and obsessive planning from Tatum and his team of producers including Alison Faulk, also in attendance today. ‘Every little detail has been obsessed over,’ Green says.

Already a very established dancer and choreographer, the Perth born Jake Paul Green has performed alongside such artists as Ricky Martin, Kelly Rowland and Delta Goodrem to name just a few. Green has performed around the world and couldn’t be happier to be strutting his stuff alongside his fellow cast members. ‘‘There is no company in the world as great to dancers as this company. They make it a safe space for us to grow and be better.’ Green explains that all the cast members are very well looked after in terms of the physical toll a show like this can take. ‘There’s going to be a lot of remedial massage sessions’ Green says with a smile.

As much love as there is for the performers onstage, according to Green, behind the scenes that same love and sense of camaraderie among the performers has helped get him through the tougher moments of touring life. ‘These boys have helped me out so much. Just the mental game, sometimes trying to get through it is tough. We’re all so committed to being friends and to being a family. These boys are some of the most heart-warming, loving boys I’ve ever met. I’m pumped to be sharing the stage with them.’ Green will spending a lot of time with his cast mates. After two months of rehearsal in Belgium, the show will open in Melbourne for six months before touring all around the country. ‘The boys all lean on each other so when we see someone in pain, we make sure that they don’t feel like they have to support themselves.’

After successful tours in London, Las Vegas and Berlin, Tatum and Green promise that this incarnation of Magic Mike Live will have a uniquely Australian flavour to it. However, both are coy on revealing too much (not in that way) about what that means. ‘Each and every boy is very individual. Aussie dancers have our own personality and flair. I think bringing home grown dancers is going to be a great environment for everyone.’ So with Australia about to roast through another summer, how will Green and his cast mates fare with things inside The Arcadia potentially getting hot in more ways than one? ‘Thankfully they’re night shows and there’s no midday matinee’ jokes Green.

 MELBOURNE             Tickets On Sale Now

Venue                           The Arcadia, Birrarung Marr

Season                          From Tuesday 26 May 2020

Times                            Tuesday & Wednesday at 7pm

Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7pm and 9.30pm

Sunday at 5pm and 7.30pm

Prices                            Tickets from $75 (Transaction fees apply)

Bookings                       Ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 795 267

Groups Bookings          10 or more, [email protected] or 1300 889

278

 SYDNEY                       Tickets On Sale at 1pm Tuesday 3 December

Venue                           The Arcadia, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

Dates                            From Thursday 19 November 2020

Times                            Tuesday & Wednesday at 7pm

Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7pm and 9.30pm

Sunday at 5pm and 7.30pm

Prices                            Tickets from $75 (Transaction fees apply)

Bookings                       Ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 795 267

Groups Bookings          10 or more, [email protected] or 1300 889 278

MEET & GREET          A $40 backstage Meet & Greet add-on is available with any ticket purchase and includes a professional photograph, a Magic Mike cocktail, a souvenir program, a VIP lanyard and a backstage meet & greet with select members of the cast immediately following the show.

 PERTH & BRISBANE

Waitlist NOW – visit MagicMikeLive.com.au to join our waitlist and receive priority access to tickets when they go on sale.

Live Images: Andrew Tauber Photography

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