On Thursday, Channing Tatum made an announcement that is as exciting as it’s extremely unsurprising: There’s going to be a Magic Mike show in Las Vegas. A revue that brings the popular movies to audiences “live and in 3d.” The show, as the movies before it, will apparently distinguish itself from similar dancing-dude revues (no offense intended, gentlemen of Thunder From Down Under) by attempting to answer the question that is so enduringly perplexing that even a bewitched, fedora-ed Mel Gibson could not answer it: What do women want?
The Magic Mike movies, sweetly delightful and whimsically rompy though they may be, failed a little bit in their assumption that 1) the what-women-want question is legitimate to ask in the first place, and 2) men can answer it without consulting, uh, women. The films didn’t ask what ladies want so much as they informed them.
In that sense, what’s perhaps most interesting about the Vegas version of Magic Mike is the fact that the new show professes to be moving beyond its predecessors’ impulse to mansplain female desire. The site for the show features a quiz—though “quiz” doesn’t quite do justice to the psychological and sociological and philosophical questions it ponders—which is titled “Magic Mike Asks,” and which is ostensibly written by Magic Mike himself. Here is that fraught question—what do women want?—asked again, only this time in the service of a strip show that will be gyrating its way through a theater in the Hard Rock Hotel.