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Meredith Holt, Published October 31 2013

Naughty night out: It’s the week of the hunk, with several male revues and a musical ‘Fifty Shades’ parody

FARGO – While visiting a friend in Las Vegas, Jenn Jensen kept coming across signs for Thunder From Down Under.

Jensen, who was getting over a breakup at the time, wanted to go, so she signed up for a ladies’ night poker tournament in hopes of winning tickets.

When the 29-year-old Fargo woman showed up at Excalibur, she found out she was the only one who signed up, which turned out to work to her advantage.

“They gave me my money back and a free ticket to the show for that evening,” she says.

Excalibur’s website promises, “You’ll laugh! You’ll stare! You may even faint!” at the sight of the men’s pecs and abs.

Well, Jensen laughed and stared, but she didn’t faint, even though she did get to sit in the lap of her favorite dancer after the show.

“It’s kind of a surreal experience,” she says. “It’s something you’ll never forget.”

Tonight her Aussie friends kick off what appears to be the week of the hunk. Midweek, The Venue hosts another male revue, and next weekend, there are several more opportunities to get a “show.”

Here’s a look at the testosterone-heavy options:

Thunder From Down Under

What: All-Australian male revue

When: 7 and 10 tonight

Where: Dakota Magic Casino, 16849 102nd St. S.E., Hankinson, N.D.

Info: Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show, and are available online at http://dakotamagic.ticketsunplugged.com or by calling the casino at (701) 634-3040 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The men of Thunder From Down Under have been a mainstay of Dakota Magic Casino for years.

Marketing manager Tina Williams says they sell out every show, and that’s two shows a night of 550 each.

“It’s not my thing, but people get excited about it,” she says.

Sometimes a little too excited, but staff help keep the women (and some men) in attendance under control.

“It’s a fun show,” she says. “They interact with the crowd, and I think that’s what gets them going.”

‘Fifty Shades of Men’

What: Male revue featuring former Chippendales. Inspired by the best-selling “Fifty Shades” books by E.L. James.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: The Venue at The Hub, 2525 9th Ave. S., Fargo

Info: Tickets cost $10 in advance, $15 the day of the show, and are available at Tickets 300, 300 Broadway, Fargo, between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at http://tickets300.com or by calling (866) 300-8300. For VIP seating, call The Hub at (701) 232-6767. 21-plus.

Kerry Fernholz, director of operations for The Hub, says the last time the “Fifty Shades” men came to The Venue, they packed the house.

And when he booked them for early November, he had deer-hunting “widows” in mind.

For the most part, he says, audience members don’t get too crazy during the bump-and-grind show inspired by the erotic novels.

“But we definitely do get some pretty loud, boisterous women in there who have fun with it,” he adds.

‘Ladies Night Out: Man Power’

What: Male revue featuring former Chippendales.

When: 9 p.m. Nov. 8

Where: JT Cigarro Lounge & Grille, 4554 7th Ave. S., Fargo

Info: Tickets cost $10 and are available at JT’s or any Fargo-Moorhead Sunseekers location. For VIP seating, call JT’s at (701) 277-0711.

‘Spank: The Fifty Shades Parody’

What: Musical parody of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades” books

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 8 and 7 p.m. Nov. 9

Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

Info: Tickets cost $37 and are available at Tickets 300, 300 Broadway, Fargo, between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at http://jadepresents.com or by calling (866) 300-8300. Mature audiences.

Although “Spank” is geared toward fans of the books, it isn’t associated with the author or her publisher.

“We poke fun at the books, but it’s done with love,” says Graydon Long, who plays Hugh Hanson, the character modeled after Christian Grey, the book’s bondage-obsessed character.

The actor says “Spank” stays true to the book for three-quarters of the show.

“We have fun with every scene, but once we get near the end, we start to take some liberties,” he says.

So what’s the appeal?

Long says it’s the chance to get a taste of a perhaps hidden desire.

“When they go to this show, they can sort of let loose and be honest about how much they like the books,” he says.

Performing as the domineering lead allows him to explore a different side of himself, too.

“It’s something I’m not used to in my life, and it’s a blast to get to do,” he says.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590