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A hot night with the 'Men of Paradise' in Waikiki

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There’s a new show in Waikiki that’s been specially designed with the ladies in mind: “Na Kane: Men of Paradise.”

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Simply put, the show features hunky men stripping off their clothes and getting down to the music. You don’t get the full monty — tight briefs are the limit — which means that the show is sexy, but not sleazy. And it’s also a good deal of fun, with the dancers serving up the goods with a wink. Everyone’s here to have a good time and you’re all invited to join the party.

The show was originally presented on the Ali’i Kai Catamaran cruises, and relocated to Waikiki's Pacific Beach Hotel last September. It’s a venue that not only offers more room, but also allows for greater production values (cue the DJ and light show). Drinks and appetizers are available before show time, while the rear screen at the back of the stage whets your appetite by sharing details about the men in the cast (by the time the show starts you’ll know such lifeline stats about the guys as “Favorite Food” and “Favorite Past Time”).

The show itself is a series of short acts set to different music selections. You might see ghouls dancing to “Thriller” or beach boys boogieing to “Wipeout” and “Surfin’ Safari.” Cowboys. Football jocks. Army personnel. All manner of tough ‘n’ buff guys parade across the stage, then whip into action by whipping it off, to the delighted shrieks of the audience. There’s some more imaginative stripping too; during one number, chocolate sauce was rubbed on a dancer, making him into a real human “candy bar” (real candy was passed out to the audience as well). The hot soundtrack keeps up the beat along with a dazzling light show.

In addition to the main stage, a large catwalk extends into the showroom, bringing the action literally inches away from you, depending on where you sit. And take note if you’re right next to the stage; throughout the show, lucky gals are pulled up on stage for an up close and personal encounter with the guys, and most need little encouragement to participate. If you’re not on stage, the cast still wants to hear from you. From the very beginning the crowd was encouraged to whoop it up in response to the opening query from the emcee, “Where’s all my single ladies tonight? And where’s all my ladies only single for tonight?” and such patter continued throughout the evening. The show’s interactive element helps make it especially engaging.

The dancers are uniformly excellent and clearly enjoy getting the crowd excited. “Men of Paradise” is the brainchild of David Abrams, a former Chippendales dancer, and his business partner Alan Van Zee; the two brought in choreographer Shawn Dean (who’s choreographed the European version of Chippendales) and Las Vegas show producer Missy Cochran, who have assembled a show that’s as slick as Vegas but as friendly as Hawaii.

The celebratory atmosphere is heightened even more at the show’s end, when everyone is invited onto the stage to dance, creating a warm spirit of camaraderie that you wouldn’t expect at a strip show (see — it really is different for girls). The cast sticks around afterwards for a photo and autograph meet-and-greet as well. The show is a natural choice for birthday and bachelorette parties and “Girls Night Out” gatherings, but men are welcome to come along too (and perhaps they’ll get a kick out of seeing how the other half lives). There are a variety of ticket options, with the “Paradise Package” getting you closest to the stage.

For a hot night out after the sun goes down, consider spending an evening with the “Men of Paradise.”

Ticket information: www.menofparadise.us or (808) 550-4444.

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