For these ladies, it’s a night that’ll go down in legend.
About a dozen women of Enumclaw’s Living Court assisted living community — many in their 80s and one as old as 106 — had a front-row seat Thursday to the strapping lads of Exotic Legends XL, a male dance revue that tours the country with choreographed stripping, dancing and comedy.
The boys gyrated the night away with an audience several times their own age, performing skits, dancing, and sometimes even carrying the ladies in their arms while dressed up as cops, firefighters and construction workers.
They were sweet, but they were spicy too, performing bawdy skits and letting the women slap dollar bills on — well — anywhere the ladies wanted.
The risqué show Thursday was the ladies’ idea, Living Court community relations director Dana Wilcox said. Living Court’s Executive Director Becky McCoy overheard the ladies laughing about exotic male dancers and asked if they’d want to see some for real, Wilcox said.
“They said: ‘We’re old, Becky, we’re not dead,’ ” Wilcox said. “Becky came to me and asked me if i could get that figured out. … I made a couple phone calls and got the show started.”
And get started the boys did — marching on stage Thursday night, clad in dark robes and shrouded in fog, as cinematic music proclaimed: “LEGENDS NEVER DIE.”
The audience cheered, the guys smiled, and their clothes came off.
Then back on, and off again, and on, and, well, you get the idea.
Some of the women had been to strip shows before, but for others, it was a chance to do something they’d never done before.
“I don’t think that women, when I was very young, would go to something like that,” said Living Court resident Elsie Adams, “because they’d think someone would see them and they’d be embarrassed. Whereas I’m not going to be embarrassed.”
Adams was born in Bremerton and grew up on Bainbridge Island, where her father managed a shipyard during World War II. She married young and had four children, and her husband passed away after 57 years of marriage. They both had careers working at Boeing.
She’s no stranger to dance. Adams studied ballet from the age of 7 and used to teach it as an adult, and she’s already been to a male revue show that took place 12 years ago in Reno.
“I’m not nervous about it,” Adams said. “If they want to dance with me, I’ll dance with them.”
Like many of the women attending Thursday night, Adams listed curiosity as one of the main reasons for seeing the show. That’s also what brought out Dorothy Sleigh, who turned 89 Saturday.
“I really was not in favor of it (at first),” Sleigh said. “As a family we grew up going to church, and I raised my own family that way.”
But the world has changed so much in her time, Sleigh said, and she agreed that women don’t seem to be judged as much as they used to be for expressing or acknowledging their sexuality.
As for the Exotic Legends show: “I’m curious to go, just to see what it is, I guess,” Sleigh said. “(And) it’s an opportunity to see a live show.”
Sleigh had no fear of what the show might entail.
“I’m not worried about that,” Sleigh said with a big laugh. “I could probably flip them over the table. I grew up with six brothers, and I spent time in the military.”
And after the show, Sleigh said she’d had a good time.
“The guys were good entertainers,” Sleigh said. “I think everybody that went really enjoyed themselves. … It was something different than what we’ve been exposed to, I think.”
Yes, they’re exotic dancers, but for the men of Exotic Legends it’s all about putting on an entertaining show, said the show’s host and booker, who goes by the stage name Dallas Storm.
A lot of guys join the revue industry and “think it’ll be an easy quick dollar and a means to meet a lot of girls,” Storm said. “(But) we like putting on a big production that makes people entertained the whole way through, not just come in and do a bunch of lap dances. … Inadvertently a lot of straight men, boyfriends, male security and bartenders will end up sticking around.”
Performing for an older audience requires a deft, gentle approach, Storm said.
“The older ladies have a lot more apprehension to these types of shows,” Storm said. “You have to be much more delicate with them. … What you would do is slowly walk up to them, grab their hand very gently, slowly move it to your chest, and start bouncing your pecs. Then they’ll realize that we know how to be delicate with them, and they’ll have more fun.”
Sandra King, 80, has been to strip shows before but said this one was “very, very good.”
“It got my blood boiling,” King said with a laugh. “I felt young again.”
Her friends told her afterward: “‘Oh boy Sandra, you really enjoyed yourself,’ ” King said. “Well you did too! And they had to say, ‘Well yes, we did.’ That’s the kind of thing we need around here.”
Betty Wilsie, 82, enjoyed the show and even got a signed picture from one of the dancers. It’s now hanging in her room.
“I’d go and see them again,” Wilsie said.