‘Na Kane’ full of tasteful thrills
BY NANCY ARCAYNA / email@example.com
From beginning to end, the “Na Kane — The Men of Paradise” show, a male revue featuring 10 chiseled dancers who know how to strut their stuff, was a screamfest.
‘NA KANE — THE MEN OF PARADISE’
» Where: Paradise Theater, Pacific Beach Hotel
Throughout the staged show, more than 150 women whooped and hooted as they vied for the dancers’ attention. If you closed your eyes for a moment, you might think you were at a teen concert; it was almost as if the audience members had never seen a man before.
It’s definitely a 90-minute fantasy show for women whose cast comprises local talent with lots of personality and flair.
Cowboys, surfers, soldiers and hula dancers graced the stage. Although they disrobed to limited attire, it proved to be an entertaining production rather than a typical strip show.
Some of the women, who ranged from their 20s to 40s, tried to entice the dancers with dollar bills, but these guys don’t take tips. (They’re not strippers, after all.)
The show is intended to be a classy, Las Vegas-style production.
“It’s not like ‘Magic Mike,’” said Alan Van Zee, one of the show’s co-founders.
The show is designed for women 21 and older.
“If a student returned from college and came with her mom and grandma, they could all enjoy the show,” Van Zee said. “Sure, grandma might blush, but it’s not gross or over the top.”
“NA KANE,” which originally began on the Alii Kai Catamaran last June, moved to the Paradise Theater at the Pacific Beach Hotel at the end of last month.
Doors open almost an hour early, and appetizers and drinks are available. Champagne seemed to be a popular choice.
The Na Kane special is a mai tai served in a pineapple for $15. The menu features items like poke ($7), soybeans ($6) and strawberries and chocolate fondue ($8).
Plans of opening an ultralounge next to the theater in November are in the works so ladies “have a place to party after the show,” said Van Zee, who founded the show with David Abrams, a former Chippendales dancer who performed in Las Vegas and more than 22 countries for a 10-year period.
But back to the guys: The men in the choreographed show are of varying ethnic backgrounds. Not all are trained dancers, according to Van Zee, but all work with Shawn Dean, former choreographer for Chippendales’ European tours, who choreographs the Honolulu production.
During one number, three dancers came out dressed in candy wrappers and distributed treats to the audience. A racy routine included a volunteer rubbing chocolate sauce on one of the dancers.
It didn’t seem difficult to find volunteers for the staged skits. Many of the ladies wore veils and were enjoying their bachelorette parties. Audience members were more than eager for a turn in the spotlight.
And the dancers have a keen eye for choosing audience participants. “We found that spontaneity works the best,” said Van Zee. “If we choose someone and they don’t want to participate, we move on.”
The crowd’s rowdy response was proof that participants truly enjoyed the show. Screaming and comments like “You’re beautiful,” along with liberal pats on dancers’ buns, showed the women’s adoration.
At the end of the evening, the stage transformed into a dance party where anyone could go on the runway and show off their own moves alongside the “Men of Paradise.”