The Steel City Studs will be bringing their Magic Mike-themed strip show to Suffolk Theater on August 6. From well-known steel town Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the group has been gaining quite a bit of notoriety across the northeast. Steel City Studs manager, founder and sometimes performer Brandon Stone explains how the show got started, what audiences can look forward to, and why this is a male revue performance unlike any other.
How did you become involved with Steel City Studs?
Well, I have a martial arts background, so I was always into being physical. After an injury, I still wanted to use my body as a means to have a career. I decided to try dance lessons about an hour from where I live, because I thought it would be less embarrassing if anybody saw me around. I gave myself three months to practice. After three months, I was pretty decent, and so I stayed with it. I got into male dancing with a group that was in my area. I soon became the lead dancer, but after dancing for this group, and some others, I wanted to do bigger and better shows of choreographed and group routines, so I decided to start my own group. I really pushed the recruiting efforts. It started out as just a group of four, and now I have over 32 dancers. And I put myself in some of the shows too, because I love to get out there.
How many hours a week do you work on routines?
Each group of guys has practices and rehearsals two to three times a week for three hours. Sometimes I’ll have a rehearsal twice in one day because I’m rehearsing with all of them. I’m practicing with every group at least once a week.
What is the audition process like?
I reach out to somebody, or they reach out to me through one of my ads. The first meeting I will have them send pictures, and then I meet them in person. The highest percentages of our guys haven’t danced before, but it’s a strict filter because most of the groups out there aren’t choreographed shows.
Are there a lot of responsibilities on the day of these performances?
Two to three weeks before, I meet with the DJ, and the lighting and sound technicians. I also try to get to the venue several hours earlier on the day of a performance. You always have to check the space. You have to set up the chairs a certain way. You have to take into account how the dancers will be moving through the area. All stages are different. And we’ll change things sometimes depending on the venue. The great thing is that we’ve done it so many times that everybody can adapt pretty quickly.
What are some funny moments or mishaps the Steel City Studs have experienced?
There was one time with this one dancer I had. He did this upside-down cyclone spinning thing, like a helicopter move in the air, and he kicked out one of the lights with his foot. It was just unbelievable that he got that height. Nobody got hurt or anything, but the thing exploded! Actually, the crowd enjoyed it, and thought it was part of the routine. He’s such a great performer that he just went with it. There was also one time a guy had forgotten to put his G-string on. In the choreographed routine we all rip off our pants, and he’s got these blue striped boxers on. We just started laughing. We think the crowd really thought it was on purpose too, so we decided to make this an act that we do on purpose. It’s funny because sometimes these things end up being part of future shows.
You will be at Suffolk Theater on the East End of Long Island on August 6. What are you most looking forward to there?
I’m looking forward to this venue because I like theaters. When people go to a theater, they’re the type of person that does kind of expect more of a high quality show. I almost feel like our efforts in a lot of ways are more appreciated by that crowd. We always like to go the extra mile.
Can you tell us more about the theatrical skits you perform?
It’s a little bit like a variety show at times. We have original acts that are sometimes popular at the time, like Pirates of the Caribbean, and we did 300— the Spartans. We kind of veer off from the usual bread and butter of most shows, and we change up our acts every six to eight weeks. We’ll even occasionally put on some of our guys who are musicians. One of the guys was a hip-hop singer, so we had him do a song with an NSYNC-like dance routine.
What makes a Steel City Studs show a great party?
It’s the best show for female entertainment because we occupy that space between high quality performances and very sexy. We have a broad range of women that can enjoy the show. It’s not what a lot of people think. It’s more performing with a sexy spin on it. If you’re in the tri-state area, look up Steel City Studs!
The Steel City Studs will be at the Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street in Riverhead, on August 6 at 8:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit suffolktheater.com or call 631-727-4343.