When you Google “Chippendales gif,” this is essentially what comes up:
Which is fairly misleading, because at the Chippendales show I saw last night there was no blood-red backdrop, and no men who looked anything like Chris Farley. (RIP, and god bless this sketch, it was hilarious.)
For those who aren’t in the Chippendales-know — because perhaps you live under a rock — it’s a male review show with its mecca at the Rio in Las Vegas, as well as some traveling shows. (I know this because I went to a Chippendales show in Boston when I was in college, as well as when I was 21 and in Las Vegas for the first time. You could say I’m a bit of a Chips connoisseur.)
As such, I’ve got some pro tips for any first timers visiting Las Vegas. Or just anyone who wants to up their viewing pleasure the next time they catch a performance.
- Arrive to the show at least 30 minutes early. You can take photos with the performers and there’s a bar to grab a pre-show drink. Often times there will be some dancers hanging out that you can chat up at the bar too. We spotted James Davis, for example, and talked to him a bit before we got to see him dance onstage. It was fun! Like seeing a beautiful lion out of its cage and getting to pet it in the wild, so to speak.
- THINK BEFORE YOU DRESS. If you want to be pulled onstage, consider that you might have to sit on a chair, or bend, or be used as a prop, and if you’re in a dress and wearing a thong, well… things of yours will be seen that cannot be unseen. Otherwise, dress in clothes that allow for hooting and hollering and intense flailing of the arms. Trust me on this.
- If you’re celebrating a birthday or bachelorette party, make sure the lucky lady is decked out in garb that alerts the dancers to that fact. This is an amazing venue for a celebration, and when the dancers can see that you’re celebrating, they’ll make extra effort to give that person the attention they deserve.
- Do your research before you attend and pick a favorite Chippendale. The website has stats on all the dancers, and really fun images. This isn’t going to actually help you, but it is a pretty fantastic way to pass the time. Here’s mine (“He can peel a mango with his bare hands.” !!!) :
- If you want to be brought onstage, the best way to do that is to shout and get excited when they’re combing through the audience. I noticed that the girls who popped right out of their seat during routines were often chosen to go onstage.
- BUT, there are exceptions to this too. I saw a lot of shy girls get pulled onstage by the guys. They want everyone to be having a good time, and if it looks like you’re not fully in the moment, they just might make you part of the moment. So fear not, shy folks, there’s hope for you!
- Stick around after the show ends and get a photo taken with the dancers. It’s all part of the fun, and then you get to see them up close and personal. Much like this adorable family portrait below:
- There are no bad seats at a Chippendales show because the dancers wander around the audience. So spend the extra dough on the seats next to the stage, or pay what you can and sit in the back. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by dancers and have great views of the stage.
- And in general, I’d vote in favor of going into a Chippendales show being prepared to totally lose your voice from screaming. I can barely talk today, and I couldn’t be happier. My friend got pulled onstage and I screamed my face off. Priceless.
I can’t believe my best friend is getting married next year. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world with a smile that could melt your pants off, so I’m not ACTUALLY surprised that a very intelligent man proposed to her. But I can’t believe she’s getting married because I’ve known her since we were in the second grade, and it doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we would just get excited if a guy looked at us without blinking… Let alone marry us.
And this weekend is the bachelorette party. It’s in Vegas. So, yes, we’ll be having a very Chippendale’s, drinking by the pool, wonderfully tacky Las Vegas bachelorette, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Here’s a photo of the last time Elisa and I took a trip to explicitly drink together, circa 2012 in Napa. Clearly being together and drinking agrees with us:
This upcoming trip got me thinking about a lot of things. A lot of friendship things. In particular, what an amazing BFF Elisa has been to me throughout the years. And I wanted to write down all of the ways Elisa has been the light of my life before we go away this weekend to drink our dang faces off.
- When we discovered we have the same birthday. We were in our second grade classroom, and the teacher assigned us the “homework” of figuring out who was born first. I was born in the morning, and you slept in. This is not a surprise. I’m glad you let me be the morning person. I love mornings.
- In sixth grade, when I locked our math teacher out of the classroom. She was mean, and deserved it. But she said whoever did it had to fess up, or everyone would get a detention. When I fessed up, you wrote me a note saying that I was a “brave” person. I still have that note.
- When we’d have sleepovers at your house, and you’d help me put sheets on the rollaway bed. That meant a lot.
- When we spent our weekends at the movie theater by your house.
- And when we bought a box of those really terrible but really great sugar cookies with frosting before each movie, and ate it together in the parking lot.
- When we went to your house to choreograph a dance to Mya’s “Take Me There” for a gym presentation. (Seriously, what was our school, even?)
- During every single cheerleading practice in middle school. Because being a cheerleader wasn’t cool at our school, but we had fun, so whatever.
- Whenever we passed notes to each other in class about Hanson. And would sign them, “Mrs. Tay.”
- And when we briefly moved on from Hanson with NSYNC, and your love for Lance was almost as strong as my love for JC Chasez.
- How excited you were when I interviewed Lance years and years later, and he signed a piece of paper for you. That was magical.
- When you’d come to my house in the summers and we’d talk for hours while doggy paddling in the pool.
- And how you never judged me for having to wear all the sunscreen and t-shirts over my bathing suit. Even though you’ve always tanned an enviable golden brown.
- When we left middle school, and went to different high schools that were so far away. But we still stayed close and called each other almost every day.
- When you came to each and every one of my high school dances as my date.
- And years later, when I had my high school reunion, you were invited too, because we hung out so much that people actually thought you went to our high school. LOL.
- When we got an unlimited pass to Busch Gardens in Tampa, and we spent one summer there, basically. Your dad would drop us off in the morning, and we’d ride the sky tram or the train and eat chicken fingers. You hate roller coasters, so we’d just cruise around, doing nothing, and it was fantastic.
- When you went on a family trip with me to Mexico.
- And when we almost missed the cruise ship back, because we had too much to drink and I tried to steal a T-shirt from a gift shop.
- OK, I did steal a T-shirt from a gift shop. I thought it would fit me. It was for a toddler. But you laughed instead of making me feel like a total idiot. Which I was.
- When it came time to look at colleges, and we both wanted to go to FSU together and be roommates.
- So we went to tour the campus. And you got in trouble for not telling your mom that we were going there by ourselves. And I got in trouble for not telling my mom that your mom didn’t know. It was complicated.
- When we both walked by the frat houses at FSU, trying to look cool, but you tripped and I burst out laughing.
- Sorry I did that. You forgave me. That was cool of you.
- When I had to tell you that I wasn’t going to go to FSU, but wanted to go to an out of state school in Boston. And we were both really upset and scared, but you made me feel OK about it.
- When I would call you crying from Boston, because I was homesick and made a huge mistake not going to FSU.
- When I finally got over being homesick, and we were able to still keep calling each other and still be best friends, even though we were far away.
- When I would come to visit FSU every year during winter break and get to hang out with you there.
- Every time our birthday, January 7th, has rolled around, and you’ve been the first person I want to talk to and wish a happy birthday.
- The brief year we lived in the same city — New York — and I’d meet you after work in the Financial District, and we’d go get dinner and drink and whine about how bad the dating scene was.
- When I told you I wanted to leave New York, and you let me.
- Sorry I keep leaving places when we’re in the same place. I love you. I love that you never make me feel bad for too long.
- When you came to visit me in Los Angeles, and I remembered what it was like to have you in the same city as me, and my heart broke but also filled with happiness. We have to be in the same city again at some point, right?!
- How crazy wonderful you were while my mom was going through her cancer diagnosis. You let me cry and you reassured me that everything would be OK, and it has been. I always felt better after a phone call with you.
- When I had an early twentysomething crisis and imploded my life by quitting my job and breaking up with my then-boyfriend. I immediately flew to New York to be with you.
- Which is when I met Jason for the first time. And saw how happy he made you. And how happy you made him. And I was equally happy for this.
- And now that we’re older and have money of our own, we’ve decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Bern’s for our birthday every year.
- And that first year at Bern’s, when I had never been, and we ate so much food and were so delirious from it that we proposed marriage to each other. I would still marry the shit out of you, girl. Just saying!
- When we started taking yearly friendship trips. First to Napa, then to Arizona, and it’s something I look forward to every year.
- When we went to Napa, rented bikes, and I immediately fell off mine and skinned my elbow really badly. (Karma for you falling at the FSU tour?!) But you were cool with it and helped me bandage it up in that fancy Napa gas station.
- Whenever you’ve talked me through any and all major life issues.
- Because you know how crazy wound up I can get, and you always know how to cut through the bullshit and tell me like it is. Thank you for that.
- When we were in Phoenix and I was asking you so many questions about how you’d want to be proposed to and what kind of ring you’d like. Because Jason told me he was planning to propose. And I wanted to tell you so badly, but didn’t.
- When you got engaged, and called me on the phone to tell me, and I started crying from happiness.
- When you tried to FaceTime me into your wedding dress shopping. Fuck FaceTime for failing.
- When I got proposed to, and I initially only called my parents and you. You were so happy, and hearing your voice made me even happier than I already was.
- When you sent E and I a really lovely engagement gift to celebrate — it sits by our bed. Thank you!
- Being able to talk to you about your wedding, and the bachelorette, and the shower, and getting so excited to be able to celebrate you in so many ways.
- The fact that we’re both engaged at the same time, and that we’ve joked about getting pregnant together. Except it’s not a joke at all.
- Our mutual love of Broad City, and how I jokingly say I’ll peg you someday. Except this also is not a joke at all.
- For every time you’ve made me laugh uncontrollably, even when I’ve wanted to cry or was already crying.
- For knowing my family so well, and being able to talk me through difficult situations.
- And for being able to communicate with each other through a look. Or at least I think we communicate with just looks. I’ve been giving you lots of looks, I hope you know.
I love you so much. I cannot wait to celebrate your bachelorette. And I hope you know that I will probably peg you in Vegas.