Women Of Arundel Reveal Affection For Male Dancer

Man Of Chippendaleelicits Sighs, Squeals, Marriage Proposals

December 09, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Kelli Piticock wanted to marry the guy. Jennifer Wiedecker handed the man a note with her home phone number on it. Dawn Ritter brought her whole family down, 8-year-old daughter and all.

The women may have left with some of their fantasies unfulfilled, but they went home happy anyway. They had an autographed photo of the "hunk," a hug and a calendar for their wall. After all, it was a member of the Chippendales they saw.

"Can I hug you?" asked Piticock, an 18-year-old senior at North County High School. "Are you sure you don't want to get married?"

"Not right now," answered John Bentley, a 23-year-old dancer from the New York group. That didn't seem to matter much to the women who on Saturday afternoon packed Expressions, a lingerie store in Glen Burnie.

Ask them why they came and they point to Bentley, who was wearing tight black stretch pants, no shirt, a black bow tie and had shoulder-length blond hair. Ask them what makes Bentley so special and theybecome almost speechless.

"Look at that body" is about all they can muster. "He's fantastic," said 22-year-old Tamy Rossback. "He's gorgeous."

For his part, Bentley stood near the center of the store,posing for pictures at $5 a pop and signing autographs. He met younggirls and middle-aged women. Husbands brought wives. Mothers broughtteen-aged children.

It wasn't quite your usual family affair, buta Chippendales official who was on hand said the dancers take pride in providing clean entertainment that avoids the G-string stuffing that predominates performances from other groups.

"This is not a sleazy show," said Howard Blecman, the mid-Atlantic sales manager for Chippendales, comparing the production to an off-Broadway musical whileall the time plugging merchandise, especially calendars and an upcoming video titled "Welcome to Your Fantasy."

Between hugs and squeals from the audience, Bentley said he grew up in Michigan, south of Ann Arbor, and took two years off from his communications business to tour with the group, get some extra money and get a break in the acting business.

Already, he has appeared in two videos.

"It's comfortable," he said. "It's easy on the mind, not having to worry about expenses. The company treats you pretty well."

But his new-found fame with the famous dancing group meant the end to his relationship with a woman in Michigan.

"She couldn't handle all the girls looking up to me," he said. "Someday, I'll settle down, get married and be normal."

But for now, Bentley must deal with countless propositions, including several on Saturday.

"I get asked to be married threeor four times a night," he said. "It's flattering."

Other women came for different reasons. Judy Asher of Glen Burnie brought three developmentally disabled women to the store. It was an outing for the women, who live in a group home in Linthicum.

"They like men," Asher said. "At a dance last week, they tried to take off with the band members."

The autograph show brought some men, too. Christopher Johnson of Annapolis wanted to know how to audition for the group.

The 24-year-old works for Gentlemen's Touch and dances Thursday nights at the Jewel of the Nile club on Dorsey Road.

He said he needs money to go to architecture school. "I would like to be part of this," he said.

Then there was Jerry Eisenhardt, who brought his wife, Joan, and a camera to the store.

She said she likes the Chippendales,and her husband accompanied her because "he was afraid I was going to run away with them."

And then there was Dawn Ritter, who broughther whole family, including two daughters, ages 7 and 8.

They sawthe Chippendales perform last year at the Harundale Mall, and Rittersaid she wanted an autograph. But she wasn't about to let her daughters get in any pictures.

Besides, 8-year-old Christinia didn't think Bentley was so good-looking, after all.

"He's ugly. I like the guy over there," she said, pointing to another man who happened to bein the store.

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