Entertainment » Theatre

Thunder From Down Under

by Blake French
Contributor
Tuesday Aug 18, 2009
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With the explosive popularity of Las Vegas entertainment featuring strapping young men removing their clothes on stage, could it be that women have become just as sex-crazed as men? Due to the demand for male strip shows, there are three performing on The Strip, one of them being Thunder from Down Under, an Australian import, currently playing at Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

With the show’s high energy and undeniable sex appeal, intoxicated women will undoubtedly have a ball (pun intended). Male audiences searching for this kind of entertainment will be equally as enticed as the perfectly toned guys make for great eye candy.

However, from a technical standpoint, Thunder has some flaws and a little catching up to do before matching par with Chippendales, the infamous male strip show currently performing at The Rio.

Thunder begins with anything but a bang. The opening scene has the guys arriving on stage wearing purple velvet as 80’s music blasts through the speakers. Considering the explosive momentum the show builds before it starts, this is a disappointing way to begin

As the production continues, things improve. Music from artists like Usher and The Black Eyed Peas fills the show room as the dance routines become more and more creative. Each scene is given a new theme, ranging from pirates to fire fighters. Most, of course, involve the guys disrobing slowly until they’re wearing almost nothing. Don’t get too excited. No penises are shown...but there are occasional glimpses of bare butts.

"It’s okay to touch," says the host early in the show. And few hold back.

Some of the early routines are downright pathetic. During the 300 theme, the guys merely walk around in circles twirling prop swards above their heads. It leaves the audience wondering why the choreographer didn’t design a battle sequence for this concept...even if it was a simple one.

Other routines are highly effective. Later in the show, the host--whom, at this point, has not performed a dance yet--delivers a shocking lap dance to an unsuspecting audience member. Funny, entertaining, and incredibly sexy, this sequence is one of the highlights of the show.

The Thunder guys are not afraid to interact with the rowdy audience. At one point or another, all the Aussies end up walking through the crowds, allowing themselves to be felt and fondled. "It’s okay to touch," says the host early in the show. And few hold back.

As far as the dancing is concerned, it is somewhat lacking. Male revues should feature enticing, masculine performers. But Thunder dancers are often sloppy. Half of the dancers perform with the level of precision and fierceness that the routines require, but the other half has a long way to go.

Given their enthusiasm and constant cheering, the audience members at the performance I attended didn’t seem to share my complaints. They were too busy ogling over the alluring performers, captivated by their vigor and stamina. Then again, most of the attendees had been drinking heavily. Maybe if I had a few drinks, I would have overlooked the flaws, too. Sobriety sucks at these shows!

Thunder from Down Under performs Sunday through Thursday at 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. at Excalibur Hotel and Casino, 3850 Las Vegas Blvd South. Ticket prices range from $39.95 to $49.95. Guests 18-20 must be accompanied by an adult and those under 18 are not admitted. For more information, call 702-597-7600 or visit www.excalibur.com.

Blake French has worked for 9ine Magazine, OC Drinks! Magazine, In the Scene Magazine, Lansing Community Newspapers, Laguna Beach Independent, L.A. Alternative Press, and Backstage West. He’s a regular contributor to 944 Magazine and a staff writer at Filmcritic.com.

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