Friday, January 19, 2018
Stage

Male striptease group Rock Hard Revue set for magic shows in Tampa

The emcee came out on stage, after letting the pre-show drinks flow for an extra 45 minutes, and asked the question of the hour.

"Are you ladies ready to have a good time tonight?"

A whoop went up in Orlando's Club Firestone, and 600 women surged closer to the stage. The lights brightened and the DJ dropped a hard mix of electro and hip hop. Several hooded figures took the stage and burst into sharp, acrobatic choreography with occasional pauses for pelvic thrusts and smiles. Then the layers started to peel off, methodically, until only oiled chests and artwork abs remained.

This was the opening shot of a nearly two-hour eyeball assault. Beautifully crafted, nearly nude men ages 22 to 32 would spend the evening breaking, grinding, dancing and even hoisting women off the ground to put on a spectacle of a show.

It was a typical Saturday for David Greenhouse's Rock Hard Revue, an all male adult revue modeled on his time with the Chippendale's in Las Vegas.

Greenhouse danced, directed, worked as a photographer and even did some choreography for the legendary striptease act before moving to Orlando and starting choreographer work for theme park shows.

He and his wife, Kelly, founded Rock Hard Revue to fill a need in the market. "There's just nothing like this on Orlando," Greenhouse said. "But you know, it didn't really take off until Magic Mike."

Channing Tatum's 2012 hit, loosely based on his history as a stripper in Tampa, awakened an interest for women who wanted a night out with the girls, not just for bachelorette parties. Greenhouse even added a number, complete with trench coats and umbrellas to It's Raining Men to celebrate the film. Still, most of the eight dancers employed by Greenhouse have jobs. "The goal is to one day perform enough to make this full time," he said. "But we aren't there yet."

One brick in the road to getting there was the group's June appearance on America's Got Talent. The boys stepped into solid choreo-moves to Chris Brown's Turn Up the Music before taking off their shirts to show the panel the goods. Judge Heidi Klum covered everything but her eyes and Howie Mandel slipped off his own shirt to join them on stage.

In person, the choreography is much more thrill-inducing. What Jason "JMac" McIntosh, 27, of Orlando, does in the revue is only slightly different from his other gig as a break-dancing robot in a Disney theme park. "I've danced backup for artists on tour before but this was the first time people were coming to see me," he said.

Francisco "Cisco" Perez II, 32, had lost his gig at Florida Hospital when he met members of the Rock Hard Revue at the gym. He didn't have any dance background to go with his eight-pack abs, but Greenhouse trained him, and now he's a crowd favorite, inspiring lots of grabby hands. "My family has been very supportive," he laughed. "My mom's a regular at the shows, actually, and I already told her, 'Don't you ever yell out that's my son.' "

Two Tampa Bay shows this month are Greenhouse's first foray into expansion. "One day, there might be Rock Hard Revues all over the state," he mused.

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