When did you last have such a fun time, your face hurt from smiling and laughing so much? Well for me, the most recent memory would be from when I went to see the Australian Production of Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live. Inspired by the film series (more so the second film than the first one), Magic Mike Live is an electric and spectacular entertaining experience.
Located at Melbourne’s Birrarung Marr, the experience starts as soon as you set foot in The Arcadia, the world’s largest spiegeltent. It really feels like you’ve stepped into some secret magical place, as Melburnians are well aware that this venue doesn’t usually exist in the CBD. Upon entering, you are greeted by a giant neon sign that states “There was simply more to love”. You have the option to chill and grab a drink prior to the show in the lounge area, or you can also have your drinks and snacks delivered to your theatre seats. I chose the latter and personally highly recommend the ‘Pretty in Pink’ cocktail, as not only is it delicious, but you get to have it in a Magic Mike Live branded cup that you can keep.
The stunning Arcadia is honestly nothing like I’ve ever seen before, and with a 360-degree performance space, the talented cast can literally come from (and come at you) at any time from any direction, so be prepared!
Magic Mike Live consists of a generously culturally diverse cast with various talents, whether it be hip-hop dancing, tap-dancing, aerial dancing, or music, this show has everything and more. Everybody has a type, so while every cast member is astounding, the highlights for me were when Joshua Williams played the role of the singer (much like Childish Gambino in Magic Mike XXL) to serenade you with his smooth and velvety voice, when Ned Zaina was gleefully strumming on the acoustic guitar and when Jake Paul Green appeared from nowhere (possibly the sky), playing on the drums (he also appeared from no-where to give me a rose later on, so he wins). But hey, I’m a sucker for musicians. As stated, everyone has a type, so there’s bound to be some eye-candy that will appeal to you. A special shout out to Nathan Kara for the hip-hop infused tap dancing that was impressive as hell, as well as his contagious smile. However, my favourite performance of the night would be Anthony Bartley’s flawless solo dance to Bazzi’s ‘Mine’. Not only does the show have an insanely catchy setlist (with some favourites from the movies too) but that particular dance was so sweet, romantic and endearing, I just couldn’t stop beaming.
In total the show has 20 cast members, but they rotate depending on the night. I felt very lucky to see Alexia Brinsley as MC and so comfortable listening to her throughout the night while she commanded the show, to the point where I felt like I was listening to an old friend shamelessly unload their deepest darkest secrets accompanied with plenty of buzz and sass. Throughout the national tour, Brinsley takes turns to share the MC mantle with Amy Ingram, and although I unfortunately hadn’t the chance to see Ingram take the lead, I am certain she is equally as fierce, feisty and open as her fellow cast member.
But it isn’t the venue alone that makes this show special, nor the intimate lighting, the strong women and talented men (although trust me, these chiselled adonises are well worth witnessing in-person). What makes Magic Mike Live so special is the positive message behind the show and its ambience. Surprisingly very feminist, Magic Mike Live reinvents the typical dated male revue and with the help of the hilarious and brilliant MC of the night, we are reminded (exactly as Jada Pinkett Smith does in Magic Mike XXL) that we are all queens. We are enough. We are also advised that ‘permission’ is the sexiest word, and it doesn’t hurt that these incredibly attractive professionals aim to please along the way.
The Arcadia is also a very inclusive place. It doesn’t matter what gender, race or age you are (provided you are over 18), whether you believe this experience is ideal for a birthday celebration, a hen’s night or if you’re just looking for something entertaining to enrich your night. This venue is a safe space and full of joy. Magic Mike Live is a must-see experience that is guaranteed to make you smile.
It’s like Channing Tatum crawled into a woman’s minds to find out what women want – and he has clearly succeeded. The neon sign from before didn’t lie – there really was more to love; I loved the venue, the performances, the important emotional and sex-positive messages that the show isn’t afraid to share, and I was reminded to love myself.
Magic Mike Live is a clever and refreshing entertaining forward-thinking production that is the perfect combination of silly and sincere. I left Magic Mike Live feeling extremely overjoyed (if not a bit overstimulated – there was so much to look at from all directions!), valued, confident and more importantly, empowered.
Magic Mike Live is only in Melbourne until September 19th before it transfers to Brisbane. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your ticket and get in quick before this magical place disappears.
For more information and ticketing, visit: https://magicmikelive.com.au
Photography by Peter Brew Bevan.