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Happy Birthday, Magic Mike Live!

Happy Birthday, Magic Mike Live!

Back in 2017, Magic Mike Live arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino just off the Las Vegas Strip. This past week, the hit show celebrated five years in Las Vegas at its new home SAHARA Las Vegas. With a third Magic Mike movie in the works with star Channing Tatum, and a second season coming for the reality TV series Finding Magic Mike, there are plenty of projects coming for fans of the brand.

We chatted with two of the show’s original performers, Chelsea Phillips Reid and David Terry, all about the show’s past, present and future.

Cast of "Magic Mike Live" at Grand Reopening Las Vegas |
Cast of Magic Mike Live at Grand Reopening in September 2021 (Courtesy Magic Mike Live)

Magic Mike Live Celebrates Five Years in Las Vegas

In your opinion, how do you think the show has evolved since day one?
Phillips-Reid: Oh man. I feel like anything else, the show has evolved over time but has just gotten bigger and better and more magical if that’s even possible. I think we started at a point that was already sensory overload—your brain kind of melts at the show.

We’ve added the London cast, Berlin and Australia, and they’ve really been able to take all the elements from these global shows and put it all here in Las Vegas. So everything at SAHARA is even more spectacular.

It’s a lot, and I feel like it’s one of those shows you can’t just see it once; you have to go multiple times to take it in.
Phillips-Reid: Truly! And that’s what I think is so special. We have so many fans that come back time and time again because it really does resonate with them, and this show means so much to them, and they feel so many things. They feel safe, welcome, and feel like we’re their people, and we are their people! So they keep coming back again.

Terry: I think, on top of the fact that we have more shows worldwide is crazy. London, Berlin, Australia. I think it’s reached further, and I think more people are starting to see that the show is open to everybody and that there’s something for everyone there.

I think, at first, people weren’t sure about it and didn’t have a good idea about what to expect. Now I think because many people have seen it and we’ve gotten some great exposure via different media outlets, it’s shown that it’s open to everybody, and everybody should come to check it out.

I feel like everything in Vegas has really shown that it’s a lot more inclusive than before?

Terry: Yeah, absolutely, and I think it’s easy for people to assume they aren’t the right audience member or demographic for this but no, come check it out. It’s a good time!

I think, especially with having a safe word, that’s such a big deal to a lot of women to feel comfortable and know that nothing is going to happen to them there that’s going to make them feel awkward. 
Phillips-Reid: Yes, absolutely. That, to me, is the most remarkable part of our show. From the very beginning, Channing wanted to create an environment where everyone felt safe and welcome. This is truly everyone’s fantasy come to life.

Everyone has a different dream, so there’s no wrong or right way to appreciate the show. You can be crazy and scream and be on your feet, or sit back and take it all in and use the safe word and be an observer but still have this incredible connection to the dancers, the host, and the message of the show.

I love the concept of the safe word. 
Phillips-Reid: We’ve heard from so many people who said, “Oh my God, I’m so glad I had the option to say unicorn,” and things like that, but then they say, “And then I came back again, and I didn’t say it.”

Chelsea, I know with your part, a lot of it is scripted. I’ve been to the show a number of times, and everything you say is always hilarious and always feels fresh. How do you keep it feeling fresh and not repetitive when this is something you do every night?
Phillips-Reid: I feel like the main thing is that no show is the same. Yes, there are critical components of the show that stay the same every night because we have technical cues and elements of the show that have to run a certain way, but the audience’s energy is different every night. Every single night, I have different interactions with women and men in the audience, and I’m given so much freedom, which is incredible to have in a show.

I can interact and comment on what is happening—something things get so crazy in the audience that you have to stop and be like, okay, everybody, we have to acknowledge this. It’s great because as a performer in a long-running show, you couldn’t ask for a more extraordinary work environment. Each day feels joyful and exciting, and you truly never know what will happen.

Chelsea Phillips-Reid in "Magic Mike Live" Las Vegas |
Chelsea Phillips-Reid in Magic Mike Live  (©Jerry Metellus)

How much of the original cast is still in the show?
Terry: A lot of us are. A few of us have come and gone, but most of the original cast is still with the show, which is pretty cool to think about too. It’s a close-knit family, and even though we fight like siblings sometimes, it’s a good group to work with.

David, I saw that you recently released a single; congratulations! Can you tell me a little bit about the project and the video that’s coming out?
Terry: Yeah! The video should be coming out in the next couple of weeks. The project is something I’ve been working on with our music producer from Magic Mike Live and Jack Rayner, who has also done the movies and other television shows and has worked with a lot of artists. We started writing together and collaborating a couple of years ago.

It’s a project we’ve been working on, and I never thought I’d necessarily go the whole artist route, but it’s nice to create with other people. It’s been really cool to see—a little surreal but very cool! I love collaborating and writing, and to do a project like this and see where it goes, it’s gotten a positive response.

What do you see for the future of Magic Mike Live? Other than expanding and taking over the whole planet?
Phillips-Reid: Worldwide domination! I think we are already on that track. We’re so excited about the reality series; I know that show resonated so much with so many different people all over the world. We’ve had so many people come to the show that talk about how much they loved watching the guys’ journey that competed.

And now there’s a third Magic Mike film coming out. It’s so exciting! That’s what’s so incredible about the show. It has such a permanence because it resonates with so many people. No matter who you are, no matter how old you are. It’s pure joy in a 90-minute format. One of my favorite things is to watch people watch the show and to see the evolution of people who come in and have an idea of what they think they’re going to see and then to see them be swept away in this fantasy world. And by the end, watching them scream and live their best lives. It’s truly wonderful to see every night.

Terry: Other than world domination? I think there are so many ways that the company can expand. There are other shows popping up, touring shows, and we’ve seen the Finding Magic Mike reality show on HBO Max. Other movies. With this brand, the world is its oyster. It’ll be relevant; it’s entertaining, and there isn’t a time stamp. It’s not dated, and I don’t think it’ll be dated anytime soon.

David Terry Performs in "Magic Mike Live" Las Vegas |
David Terry Performs in Magic Mike Live  (©Jerry Metellus)