Inside the sprawling, spotless mansion, the chiseled, shirtless men are folding lacy pink underpants and vacuuming the floor and lathering, rather erotically, kitchen plates under a running faucet.
Then the men, still half-naked, are playing with puppies – lots and lots of puppies.
That’s how actor Channing Tatum, star of the hit “Magic Mike” movies, introduced the cast of the series’ next iteration, “Magic Mike Live.” The show, featuring live exotic male dancers, will debut in March 2017 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Repeat: The show will feature live exotic male dancers.
Tatum made the announcement in a video produced with Cosmopolitan magazine, which will be partnering with the producers of “Magic Mike Live” to solicit feedback and input from women. The purpose, Tatum said, is to build a show based on what women want, not what men think women want.
“What if we created a world where women are given the same options that men have been given for centuries?” Tatum asks in the video announcement.
“God knows we have enough gentlemen’s clubs in this world, so let’s start the first gentleladies’ club – or, maybe not so gentle. Depends on what you’re into,” Tatum says, holding a tiny, fluffy white dog.
The first “Magic Mike” movie, which hit theaters in 2012 and grossed $167 million worldwide, is based on the months Tatum spent as a male stripper in Tampa, after he gave up a college football scholarship, GQ wrote in a 2011 profile of the actor.
“Magic Mike Live” – the way Tatum approached the announcement and the show’s story line – mirrors the, dare we say, feminist themes portrayed in the second movie, “Magic Mike XXL.”
The 2012 film follows Mike Lane (Tatum), the headliner of a male revue, as he trains a young up-and-comer in the tricks of the trade and, of course, falls in love with his mentee’s sister. But in the second film, Mike, after taking a brief hiatus from the business, and his troupe of male exotic dancers go on a winding road trip that takes them first to a party with a bunch of middle-aged women, whom they make feel comfortable with their own sexuality, and then to a stripping convention.
Former Washington Post reporter Soraya Nadia McDonald wrote about the movie’s feminist themes when it first hit theaters:
“Are we absolutely sure Channing Tatum didn’t crawl inside a woman’s head and live in it before co-writing ‘Magic Mike XXL?’
“The beauty of the film is not just that it offers a vehicle for freely and honestly discussing the taboos of (straight) female sexuality and desire. It’s that it inhabits and celebrates them unabashedly all while making you laugh.
“Unafraid to acknowledge its own camp ridiculousness, ‘Magic Mike XXL’ presents itself as a movie about five male strippers on a road trip, but it’s really a movie that’s all about women.”
In a Facebook Live video Tatum posted online Wednesday, he said that’s exactly what he wants “Magic Mike Live” to be as well: all about women.
“We really, really need to hear what it is that you want,” Tatum said. “We need to change what male entertainment has been for years. For 40, 50 years it hasn’t changed. We want to make it better. . . . I hate when I say it, but its time to revolutionize.”
Much of the show has yet to be crafted, Tatum said.
“It’s up to you, it’s up to you to help us create it,” he said. “It should be woman-empowering instead of about the guys going and getting naked.”
The show’s website allows mega-fans to sign up for “first-look updates and offers created especially for you.” It also leads visitors to a long, intimate survey that feels a whole lot like a Cosmo quiz. And maybe that’s the point.
It asks a variety of questions.
Some feel like they’re coming from a sex shop: “What material most turns you on?” “What alcohol makes you feel wild?” “What is your role playing fantasy?”
Others feel like they’re coming from a therapist: “Can you have emotion without love?” “How fulfilled are you right now?” “Have you ever misjudged a relationship and thought it was more than it was?”
And then there are ones that feel like a dating profile: “What are you looking for in another person that you haven’t found yet? If you’ve found it, what is it?”
Tatum will not be taking the stage himself, much to the Internet’s dismay, at least not as a full-time cast member. But he did tell fans to expect some cameos from stars of the original movies. He might even take the stage, he said, if he can whip himself into shape.
The show will start in Las Vegas, but Tatum and the other producers plan to take the show on the road eventually, and even across the globe.
In the Facebook Live interview, he gave fans little info on what they can expect to see next, but he said they can expect more videos, Snapchats and cast introductions soon.
“It’s definitely things you’ve never seen before,” he said. “I can promise you that.”