“I love my life – because this is my life,” I said to my friend Sara last night while watching bellbottom-clad men disco dance across the stage at Icepics.
Last night, I introduced Sara to the Men of Strut and I’m pretty sure they’ll be lifelong friends. We were thoroughly entertained, to say the very least.
The Men of Strut show graces the stage of Icepics the last Sunday of every month and, I believe, the third Thursday of the month, too. It’s unlike anything else in Arizona. Because the show is an intersection of male revue, Chippendale’s, drag performance (without the female illusionist component), and boylesque. Which all just equals awesome.
The show opened with a lip-synched rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” – in period costumes. Dallas, Ish, and Geo acted out one of my favorite Queen songs, complete with a flashlight opening to pay homage to the classic music video, a hat change to create a “mama,” a fake gun to accommodate the lyric “just killed a man” (although Dallas kept waking from death to wave at us!), and a very dramatic hanging at the close of the song. Sara and I sang along and screamed.
After the hanged men left the stage, our host of the evening, Oliver Town, came out (pun intended) for some witty repartee. He’s one of my favorite hosts. Always silver-tongued, dressed to the nines, and quick on his feet with an inappropriate joke, Oliver is the consummate MC. In demonstrating how to properly throw money onto the stage, I hit him in the nipple with a one dollar bill and we formed a bond.
Next up, the boys came out in leather for a Prince/Madonna shake down…and maybe Dallas pulled me up onstage. With any other show, I would be wary. But with Strut, I know these boys are simply having fun, enjoying the camp, and are aiming for everyone to have a good time. (It doesn’t hurt that they are gay – I mean, safest place ever for a straight girl, right?) I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy this show so much – it isn’t meant to be serious. It’s meant to be fun – a celebration of dance, costume, the human body, and a little camp thrown in for good measure.
That being said, these men really commit to putting on a good show and strutting their stuff. They are rehearsed, anything but shy onstage, and clearly enjoy what they do.
I also appreciate that despite the flavor of this show, the performers are gracious and accommodating. They help you on and offstage, make eye contact and thank you genuinely when you tip them, and I’m proud to report that my hand was kissed a time or two last night. Being a gentleman makes all the difference.
Throughout the night, we were treated to Bee Gees impressions, a feisty cook (Dallas was working on quite the dish!), a gang of superheroes (Geo, with his chiseled features, makes a perfect Superman), Broadway numbers, a little Latin flavor (Ish can move those hips), and guest performer Roman Holiday (who is cute as a button and clearly has had some ballet training, girl).
My personal favorite was a Backstreet Boys medley! Sara and I ran up to the stage like crazy fans, crying and waving dollar bills at them. I’m pretty sure we made them break character and they thanked us after the show for our over-the-top antics.
In “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” Dallas, Geo, and Ish nearly bared it all, leaving us hooting and hollering and cracking up.
And of course, they ended the show with a “Macho Man”/”YMCA” mash-up. Oh yes, the costumes were on point, which by the way, are made by the lovely Geo, who went to school for fashion design.
With $4 martinis flowing, laughter aplenty, and a little T&A (okay, maybe a lot of it), it was a grade A night.
We’ll be back to visit the Men of Strut again, because these boys work hard and then werk it out. It’s a beautiful thing.
And I get it. ‘Cause sometimes, you just gotta strut.