The 2012 film “Magic Mike” may have brought the lives of male strippers into the limelight, but it was hardly a documentary.
Dancers in the Australian male revue “Thunder From Down Under,” onstage at Cobb’s Comedy Club this week, can testify to big differences between fact and fiction.
“The biggest thing we hear from girls in the audience is that it’s not what they expected — but in a good way,” says Alex Biffin, a strapping, three-year veteran of the show. “They think it’s all bumping and grinding, but ‘Thunder’ is just a good, fun stage show.”
In 22 years, “Thunder From Down Under” has entertained about 10 million people, mostly women. The tour coming to San Francisco is a six-member band of brothers; the revue, which is based at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, includes acrobatics, dancing, singing and costumed performances.
“It’s dynamic and energetic,” Biffin says. “We have different characters. I’m a pirate, and there are gangsters and cowboys. All our dancing is choreographed. We get a lot of clothes off, but we still leave something to the imagination.”
Common questions related to “Magic Mike” often concern “down under” territories, but Biffin refutes the myths.
“We don’t use pumps. Whatever you see onstage is all natural,” Biffin adds.
But the dancers’ all-natural studliness sometimes provokes a rowdy crowd.
“We have come off stage bleeding with scratches and handprint outlines on our bums and legs, and we’ve been pushed off tables,” Biffin says. “But it’s not really crazy. Some girls get very excited, which is good. We’re not complaining. The more excited the crowd is, the more fun we have.”
Biffin, who comes from a farming family outside Sydney, joined “Thunder” after working in a large-scale equestrian show called the “Australian Outback Spectacular.” He turned to “Thunder” for the travel opportunities.
“Mum wasn’t thrilled at first, but I get paid to travel and keep fit,” Biffin says.
He hopes one day to return to working on the land with horses, perhaps with a pit-stop in Hollywood on the way.
While “Thunder From Down Under” welcomes all audience members, the show is geared toward women.
“We get everyone from 18 to 97 years old,” Biffin says. “Our show is all about coming out with friends, having a good time and letting loose. I’m looking forward to coming to S.F. — it’s an awesome city — and having fun with all the ladies.”
IF YOU GO
Thunder From Down Under
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday
Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.
Tickets: $25 to $40