January 6th, 2009 5:33 pm | by Samantha Herman News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, Multnomah County, CLEAN UP

Chippendales Do Portland


New Year's Resolution: See more hot men in an intentional state of undress.

In light of the fact that Chippendales will be gracing Portland's Refectory next week (Thursday, Jan. 15), it is time to discuss amongst ourselves the place of a male revue in our lives. And everyone has an opinion when it comes to Chippendales.

Celebrities tend to have an inflated view of Chippendales' influence on society. Chris Rock managed to trace the death of Chris Farley back to the Saturday Night Live sketch that portrayed Farley auditioning to be a Chippendales dancer. A little over a month ago, Ellen DeGeneres sent Chippendales dancers to George Clooney's office, per Brad Pitt's instructions, to woo Clooney onto her daytime talk show.

Perhaps the stars are just attracted to the story behind Chippendales, which plays out like a soap opera. Blackmail, murder, intrigue, and arson are just part of the entrepreneurial story of co-founders Steve Banerjee and Nick Denoia. Or maybe Hollywood writers and directors are already discussing “Chippendales: The Drama Behind the Bow Tie” and Brad Pitt is already vying for a lead role.

Back in the real world, beyond red carpet events and hot club openings, Chippendales appears to be underrated. In what was describe by The Daily Toreador as “the Chippendales incident” of Feb. 2007, police in Lubbock put a stop to a Chippendales show after only half an hour because the performers were said to be simulating sexual acts. (I am just as shocked as you!) The police, who were watching and waiting for any sort of action that would create arousal in the audience, swooped in and arrested all of the dancers. Authorities claimed that police action was not a form of censorship, but rather the result of the bar not having the appropriate permit for acts of a sexual nature. (Hmm...if it looks like fascism and it sounds like fascism and people are saying it's fascism…) Fast forward to Nov. 2008, and police are no longer raiding and disbanding shows. Instead, reviewers like Danny Cross have taken to insulting those in attendance. Cross describes Chippendales as the “fun-loving women's answer to boring art exhibits or game nights.” Are you kidding? Those are the only options for a night with the gals—board games, lame art exhibit, or Chippendales? Please.

The point is, give women (and gay men and George Clooney) a little credit here. Chippendales is an option not because it's either that or a root canal, but because it's fun and sometimes you just want to look at mostly nude men. There is a place for Chippendales in our life, but it's neither as important of a place as Chris Rock says it is nor the slippery slope Lubbock police deem it to be. It's the national equivalent of our Mary's Club experience—an exciting escapade seeped in sex and history.

Don't know what you're missing? Here's a snippet from the gents live show in Vegas. Oooh aerial bungee work in undies.

Chippendales, the, ahem, "#1 Male Revue in the World" appears at The Refectory, 1618 NE 122nd Ave, 255-8545. 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 15. $15 advance, $20. Tickets available at chippendalestickets.com.
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