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Robin Leach

Thunder From Down Under celebrates nine years on The Strip

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2010 Miss Nevada USA Julianna Erdesz, Angelica Bridges and Thunder From Down Under at the Golden Nugget Rush Tower Grand Opening on Nov. 23, 2009.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com
The casts of <em>Fantasy</em> and <em>Thunder From Down Under</em> at Tacos &amp; Tequila  in the Luxor.

The casts of Fantasy and Thunder From Down Under at Tacos & Tequila in the Luxor.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Thunder From Down Under at the Golden Nugget Rush Tower Grand Opening on Nov. 23, 2009.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Thunder From Down Under at the Golden Nugget Rush Tower Grand Opening on Nov. 23, 2009.

Dawn Gibbons and Dee Wallace pose for photos with the cast of Thunder From Down Under at Terry Fator's first-anniversary show at The Mirage on March 13, 2010.

Dawn Gibbons and Dee Wallace pose for photos with the cast of Thunder From Down Under at Terry Fator's first-anniversary show at The Mirage on March 13, 2010.

From July 14 through Aug. 4, Robin Leach will be relaxing under the Tuscan sun on his annual vacation and keeping his eyes on what’s happening in Las Vegas from Italy. Meantime, a kindly crew of Las Vegas celebrities and VIPs has agreed to write guest columns for Vegas DeLuxe.

By Penny Levin, guest columnist

This month, we at Australia’s Thunder From Down Under proudly celebrate nine years of headlining on the Las Vegas Strip, with eight of those at Excalibur where the 400-seat showroom was named in our honor.

This is a far cry from the days when we found ourselves at the Last Frontier, and all of us joined with Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment, co-owner of Thunder and producer of the show, crossing our fingers every night that we would fill the 80-seat venue.

Suddenly one Saturday night, we found ourselves scrambling to find chairs because we had 125 sold tickets. Everyone was so excited we went out for pizza after the show and probably spent the night’s profit!

Today, we are blessed to be playing to sell-out crowds (almost 800 ladies on a Friday or Saturday night), our brand is international and we have appeared on numerous national TV shows, including three appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wayne Brady Show and Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels (Gene stole the show when he mooned the showroom audience, but it was shaded out when it aired!).

Our most recent national TV appearance is tomorrow on Lifetime Network’s top-rated Drop Dead Diva. Four Thunder performers appear in a dream sequence with Brooke Elliott, the star of the show who plays Jane. The buffed blokes caused quite a stir on the set and were a favorite with all the ladies.

Donovan Lewis, David Moore, Adam Hughes and Leigh Hawira so impressed Diva creator and executive producer Josh Berman that, on the spot, he created a second dance number that will be seen on a Webisode and included in the Season 2 DVD.

This is great national publicity for the show and certainly helps draw attention to our Las Vegas and touring productions. Thunder stands for quality in the entertainment business and specifically in the adult male revue category.

We deliver sexy, sizzling fun for ladies (some couples and a few men attend) and have guests from 18 to 100 years old in the audience.

Thunder is a premiere choice for bachelorette parties, and we have happily provided memorable moments for thousands of brides-to-be and their wedding parties. The men of Thunder have charmed grandmothers, mothers and daughters.

AOL City Guide has awarded Thunder Best Adult Male Revue, and over the years, we have garnered dozens of awards, including having our Donovan Lewis named Sexiest Male Dancer in Las Vegas in a citywide contest.

Many of our guests visit time and again and have returned to see the show and their favorite performers during these nine years. Franny King, a beloved fan who is in her 80s and recently attended her 400th show, is always pleased to see Lewis, Marcus Deegan (our emcee), Marty Ammiott, Matthew Fardell and Dave Harris, who were with us at the Last Frontier and are still with the show, and she also adores the new dancers.

“We love being at the Excalibur and want to extend special thanks to hotel President Felix Rappaport, Mike Hartzell, director of entertainment, Brad Goldberg, vice president of marketing, and the entire Excalibur team for being so supportive,” said Steck, hinting that there is a major announcement on the horizon.

Penny Levin is vice president of publicity and public relations for SPI Entertainment. Sandy Hackett of Sandy Hackett’s The Rat Pack Show and DJ Frank and DJ Hollywood are tomorrow’s guest columnists.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

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