By ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Life+Style Editor

Men from Down Under shake it … but it’s mostly for the ladies

Video monitors over the bar show and endless loop of well-oiled muscular men in exotic locales, looking preternaturally sexy. It’s a common scene at, say, JR.’s on any given Friday.

Only here, the audience is made up mostly of zaftig women (most taller than me, even in their flats) and shiny party girls. The muscle queens and average-joe gay guys you notice mostly when the MC encourages a cheer: A chorus of soprano squeals are anchored by a few baritone hoots.

This is the House of Blues, not Cedar Springs, and the act about to come on stage is the Thunder from Down Under. Chippendale’s may have the better brand, but Thunder has the Aussie hook and the less-coy sex appeal — no cheesy bow ties and sleeve-less cuff. But it’s just as cheesy, and beefy, as it’s predecessor.

The late start (more than half an hour) left many of the women (and us curious men) antsy, and the show began with high-energy music, some incredible abs, many, many single entendres from the g’day drawling host… and not much else.

Thunder from Down Under is a lark — sexy, even risqué, but not dirty. Despite less-than-subtle suggestions ("stroke it, don’t choke it ladies" the MC advises when the men walk amid the throng in their thongs), and guys who drop trou a few times from the rear of the stage (revealing their rears on the stage), it’s pretty tame stuff. You can see men shakin’ their moneymakers wearing fewer threads at the Tin Room, and the ladies of the Rose Room — while perhaps not quite so butch — can at least lip sync to the songs convincingly; these men don’t even try.

Nor are they masters of choreography. The show’s segments are constructed around fantasies — hot pirates, gorgeous gangsters, sexy Spartans — which give the men a variety of costumes to rip off as they dance along. Problem is, the dancing is not much to speak of; there’s an absence of timing and coordination. Maybe they should walk and chew gum first, then work up to a kickline.

No matter. It’s all in good fun, from the competition between women to give the best fake orgasm to dry-humping of unsuspecting bachelorettes, this is for the ladies; the gay guys are there for the man-candy only … and some of us are dieting.

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