No-show male strippers leave owner of bar in a bind

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Robby Harris said disappointing women was the last thing he wanted to do four months ago when he booked the Men of Playgirl to appear at his bar last week.

He said the promise of male strippers brought 100 women into Henry's Wednesday night. But the strippers never showed up for the sold-out performance.

"I was scared to come over to the mic," said the owner and operator of Henry's, in the Mendenhall Mall. "They were fired up to have a good time."

One customer, Chris Holland, said, "there were a whole bunch of crazy ladies" at Henry's by 10:30 p.m., when the show was officially called off.

Harris said he felt bad for them. "A lot of ladies came from Hoonah."

He noted the ferry trip brought their cost to $70.

The advertising billed the show for 9 p.m., calling it "the ultimate ladies' night out."

At 9:30 p.m., Harris said, he announced that the men were coming in on a plane. He hoped they were, he said. The airline wouldn't tell him any specifics about the passengers coming in, and he couldn't reach the company that booked them, he explained.

He said he offered refunds and provided them to everyone who asked for one. Although the event filled his bar Wednesday night, "I'm out some money," he added.

He said it was in his contract to pay for the advertising - $800 worth. The company that booked the attraction didn't let him know they weren't going to show up and hasn't returned his messages.

The men were supposed to arrive a day early, he said. He had hotel rooms for them.

The Men of Playgirl are handled by Gold Productions in Las Vegas, Nev. Harris said no one from the company has returned the messages he left looking for answers to what happened.

The Empire placed multiple calls to Gold Productions during the hours their Web site said they would be available Monday. All were greeted with a message saying that the agents for the "Men of Playgirl all-male revue show" were temporarily unavailable, but calls would be returned as soon as possible. They were not returned.

Holland said there was a rumor a couple of days before the scheduled show that something had happened with the performance team elsewhere, and that the show would be canceled.

She said that despite the disappointment, the crowd didn't get violent. Women tried to throw dollar bills at Harris when the strippers didn't show up, showing how much they'd brought for a good time.

"We're not mad at Robby," she said. "We'll still go there."

Male strip shows have been in the news recently. On April 7 in Wasilla, the owner of the Fish Heads Bar & Grill canceled an appearance by the men of Chippendales after the Mat-Su Borough warned it may violate the borough's adult entertainment code.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at

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