By Max Sullivan
Hampton-North Hampton Patch contributor
Jeff Timmons of Grammy-nominated R&B boy band 98 Degrees says he knows what women really want to see in a male revue.
You need to do more than throw hunks on a stage to dance half-naked. There should be flashy lights, top-notch choreography, acrobatics and even live vocalists — like Timmons himself.
They need to be seduced.
Timmons is presenting all of that in a new show called "Men of the Strip," which comes to Wally's Pub in Hampton on Friday, Dec. 13.
"Girls need to be tantalized," said Timmons. "Not only through visual but mental, so one of the things I discovered, not just from hosting the Chippendales but even being in 98 Degrees… [is] you have to approach women differently. You need to be a little more delicate… for the most part women need to be seduced mentally, and I think that’s what we’re doing with this brand."
Timmons is currently promoting "Men of the Strip," which he calls a fresh new take on the male revue, by touring across America with its cast of ripped male dancers. Though he’s not dancing or undressing himself, he’s emceeing and singing songs from both his solo catalogue and that of 98 Degrees.
The show will also have a Las Vegas residency and will be the focus of an E! Network reality television series of the same name, likely to air in spring of 2014.
Timmons said he expects the brand created by the show to be quite valuable.
"I think it can be a billion-dollar brand," Timmons said. "I think it can be a franchise brand around the planet. I think it’s fresh, cool. I think it’s something for the ladies that hasn’t quite been out there in this manner, and it's very mainstream."
Timmons got the idea to do "Men of the Strip" shortly after he emceed a Chippendale’s revue for four weeks in 2011. He loved working with Chippendale’s, but he thought that their show was dated.
"The Chippendale brand was old, diminished, [and I thought it] could be a little cooler," said Timmons.
When he asked if he could take on the job of revamping Chippendale’s, he was told that Glenn Douglas Packard, acclaimed choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Pink and Usher, had already done so.
Hearing that inspired Timmons, and he called Packard to make a proposal.
"I got with Glenn and said, 'Hey, Glenn, let’s put together a cooler male revue. We can take it on TV, and take it all over the planet,'" said Timmons. "And he was like, 'I’ve been wanting to do it for years.'"
The two connected with a third business partner, "Money" Mike Foland, and the three have since put together "Men of the Strip."
The cast of men come from various backgrounds — some singers, dancers, actors and models. One thing they have in common, other than their abilities to sing and dance as they do in the show, is their charm.
Timmons, who said Packard has an eye for what appeals to women, made sure to select a wide variety of dancers and personalities.
"He didn’t just pick guys that were good looking," said Timmons. "Glenn’s a gay guy, so he has a feeling he knows what girls like. So, he picked all different styles of guys and looks of guys, personalities of guys, and he also kept in mind — brilliantly — television, and [that] this is going be a TV show, and how they would interact and [how it] ebbs and flows on TV."
Timmons, who has been on tour with the dancers since Nov. 1, has enjoyed getting the chance to mentor young men who are new to the entertainment business.
As the dancers dive into the world of stardom that exists off stage, Timmons’ biggest piece of advice for them to always be "real" and treat the people around them with respect.
"We’re discouraging diva stuff around here," said Timmons. "The main thing I try to portray to these guys is, 'Be humble.' You can look good and having girls screaming and ripping your clothes off, and get paid money to dance on stage and beer and wine and food and all that stuff handed to you, but at the end of the day, its short lived. It comes and goes. Your reputation lasts forever."
Timmons said he will host the show in Las Vegas for the first six weeks, and then he hopes to bring in celebrity guests to emcee.
"I don’t have anybody in mind yet, but we want this to be a really cool brand, so you won’t have 'B-level' reality stars hosting this," said Timmons. "We want to make this like 'Playboy After Dark,' like they used to have on TV where Goldie Hawn would come in and host or some big really big celebrities, movie stars, TV stars. We want to make sure that this brand separates itself from any other brand of this genre."
"Men of the Strip" starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Wally’s Pub in Hampton. More information on the show is available atwww.wallyspubnh.com.