Theatre Thursdays: Magic Mike… the Musical?

So I don’t think this movie is even out in theaters yet (I have a hefty contingent of female friends waiting to see it with me when it’s released) but hey, the people at Rotten Tomatoes think it’s gonna be pretty good.

What does this have to do with theatre, you say? Well, before the first carload of folks attracted to a bunch of traditionally hot male figures has even piled into their local cinema, the people behind this move are in talks to make a Magic Mike the musical.

It wouldn’t the first time a show about naked guys has made it to the Great White Way—Naked Boys Singing has been Off-Broadway for ages, and The Full Monty has the honor of preceding Mike as a movie-turned-musical about male stripping. As one website I found put it, it’s less a matter of getting an audience and more of a matter of how many repeat audiences they’ll have.

Besides it being about a musical and therefore tangentially qualifying it for the theatre-themed post, what is the relevance of this news to a blog about feminism? Well, there are a couple things I wanna talk about.

First, although it might be slow and a bit hackneyed at first, this movie is somewhat of a breakthrough in terms of gaze—in that is it shot from and clearly marketed to a female gaze rather than the male gaze.  (What is the male gaze, you ask? Think about when you are shown a ‘sexy’ female in a movie, how the camera scans her body in the same way a heterosexual male viewer would.)

This, I think, is part of the market finally coming to terms with something women have known a long time: women are sexual creatures, too. Call it the only good thing to come out of 50 Shades of Grey; call it whatever you like. But there it is. Sure, we like sweet romance. But sometimes we like to go watch hot guys romp around while undressing, and that’s totally okay. America is finally coming to terms with female desire, and that’s a good thing. So hopefully this movie is a breakaway success, and we can all go see them do that some more in New York while also singing.