At the beginning of the Can Can Cabaret's newish gig, Bachelorette Show: A Night of Celebration for Birthdays, Boys, and Brides to Be, a barrel-chested man calling himself "Vladeemeer!" and wearing high-waisted pants, suspenders, and a giant ushanka (the big-ass Russian hat with earflaps) shouts, "Velcome! Velcome!" enticing a nearly all-female crowd to roaring claps and shrieking catcalls. I'm not usually excited by this sort of thing. When given the choice between spending a night canning beets or stuffing dollar bills into the waistband of a gyrating man-person, I'd bet my pressure cooker that my answer would be the former. But that was before I realized men in Crocs and kitchen scrubs could look so goddamn good.
As Vladimir belts out introductions and praise, a group of very, very fine-bodied men dressed as line cooks saunters out one by one onto the small Can Can stage. The kitchen scrubs start to come off, but the Crocs stay on, and on the night I attended, as sets of abs and the tightest butts I've seen in recent memory shook down the aisle, man-parts jiggling underneath tight pastel skivvies, the audience screamed, "TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS! DICK! DICK! DICK!" They did not take off their pants. And there was no dick. Well, no visible dick. They keep it classy at the Can Can—as classy as one can while sporting a fake beard and pink ruffled underpants.
The performers are a good mix of new and experienced: Vlad, the MC, is played by Can Can Castaways dancer Jonny Boy. Keon, another Castaways member, looks like an African god in tight, cartoon-covered panties. Kris, freshly married to Castaways founder Rainbow Fletcher, looks and dances like Justin Timberlake. Benjamin, referred to in the show as "the Mexican" and "the one with the mullet," recently began performing with the Castaways—and makes mullets look good. Amos, a sexy, bearded ginger with washboard abs, a cherubic smile, and an uncanny ability to booty-shake, is why the gods made gingers. The whole kitchen-boy theme isn't just a gimmick—as Amos tells it, he and the others work in the Can Can kitchen and gave Jonny Boy so much shit about being better dancers than the regular troupe that Jonny said, "Fine!" and created a show for the kitchen staff.
The men do justice to Jonny's production: It's a fun, simple show smoothly driven by a very honest chemistry between the audience and the performers. It has silliness, of course, such as the nearly naked boot scooting to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," during which my rocket-scientist sister turned to me wide-eyed and said: "This is the fulfillment of a lifelong fantasy for me." But silly is what Bachelorette Show must be to live up to its name. It's a celebration of gorgeous men and fun, honest, vodka-soaked expressions of lust. We all like the sexy. The Can Can just helps you talk it out. Like therapists—really, really hot therapists.