In South Florida, there are a few reliable signs that winter is coming: flights full of snowbirds migrating south for the winter and the appearance of colorful tents on the shores of Biscayne Bay.
The arrival of our neighbors from the north is always predictable, but sometimes there are surprises inside the colorful tents.
This year, people are not welcoming the acrobats and contortionists of Cirque du Soleil or herds of trained horses. Instead, the tent at Miami’s Marine Stadium off Rickenbacker Causeway will be home to the hot, chiseled dancers of “Magic Mike Live.” Miami is going to be just a little hotter this winter and the cause is not climate change.
Conceived and co-directed by actor (and former exotic dancer) Channing Tatum, “Magic Mike Live” is a live review based on the movies “Magic Mike” and “Magic Mike XXL” as well as the HBOMax series “Finding Magic Mike”.
Promotional materials describe the show as “equal parts empowering and exhilarating … punctuated by unexpected, temperature-raising acts from a thrilling range of acrobatic stunts, dance performances under falling water and extravagant musical talent, sure to keep you hooked and ready for more.”
Translated: We want you, bachelorettes!
But Tatum and the films have their gay male admirers, too, and as expected, there are LGBT members of the cast.
Texas native Edson Juarez is one of those gay dancers. With a background in cheerleading, gymnastics and martial arts, he landed a slot on season 12 of NBC’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” finishing in the top 10 and performing on the national tour in over 70 cities. After relocating to Los Angeles, he moved to London in 2019 to perform with the original production of “Magic Mike Live.” He later danced in the show in Las Vegas before joining the touring company that is coming to Miami.
“It’s a nonstop 360-degree show. Wherever you’re sitting, you’ll get a different experience,” Juarez explained. “I’ve seen the show as an audience member, as well as a dancer, and this show is next level. It brings joy and empowerment. Expect the unexpected.”
Just don’t call him or his castmates “strippers.”
“We’re all great guys, genuine human beings with the utmost respect for our art and our audience. Funny enough, I would have never thought I’d be in a male revue show. Even when I was on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ I would always end up shirtless or the shirt would be open. There was always a joke with the producers about how I would walk out of wardrobe fully clothed, but would end up half naked on stage.”
The biggest for Juarez – and dancers in general – is the grueling schedule and the wear and tear on their bodies. He does the show 10 times each week.
“It takes a lot out of our bodies, especially when we have three shows a day,” he said, adding, “[I] take time to stretch and warm-up and also cool down. One of the most important parts is our rest and making sure we feed our bodies what they need to have the energy necessary.”
And then there’s the mental component, especially for a longtime performer like Juarez.
“For any dancer, when you do a show for a long period of time, it comes down to your integrity and respect for your art to keep it fresh and alive,” Juarez pointed out. “It does get tiring, but because our show is so interactive, it’s never the same. You have to stay on your toes all the time. Things can change in a second … it just depends on the audience.”
“Magic Mike Live” opens Oct. 13 and runs through April at the Miami Marine Stadium site, 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami. Tickets start at $49 at MMLTour.com.