The Blue Man, a strange, curious fellow, always seemed to gaze upon our world from the outside.
But in the Blue Man Group's new show at Monte Carlo, it's clear to see he's clearly living among us now - or at least watching our TV.
The new show delves right into topical fascinations: smartphones, texting, Twitter, electronica, pharmaceutical commercials with lots and lots of disclaimers, emoticons, Angry Birds and cute YouTube kittens.
Don't worry. You still get to see the three blue dudes pound drum heads filled with paint, spit marshmallows and slice up Twinkies for a dinner guest pulled from the audience.
The Monte Carlo edition is roughly half new, with the new material long overdue for repeat customers. It supplies fresh motivation to see Blue Man again, while staying remarkably true to the original creative vision.
And just what is the Blue Man aesthetic? Something easier seen than described, specific within a big umbrella.
The complex formula mixes sight gags with loud, percussive instrumental rock, and chewed-up food with smart insights into biology and technology, looking at how the two are converging to change us.
Big themes always focus into something specifically Blue Man. Case in point, the new show's take on robotics.
An elaborate setup reminds us the future never brought us the human-shaped androids we wanted, such as the new Showbot character who shares the stage with the three traditional bald, blue mimes (as many as nine actors rotate the three parts, so they are not credited).
Assembly-line robots turned out to be way more useful, even though a pleasant narrator informs us "they can't come close to expressing themselves artistically the way humans can."
With the Blue Man Group, you just know that's a setup line. Without too many spoilers, let's just say it leads to the biggest investment in the new production and that the Monte Carlo is now home to the cutest robots since Wall-E.
The Monte Carlo stage is lean-and-mean industrial compared with the grand, beautifully lighted one Blue Man Group left behind at The Venetian. The backing band plays on two stark, square risers, and the set is pretty dark until the strategic times to fire up panels of flashing light, or a full-stage rear screen.
Form follows function here, with no segment beyond the robots so expensive or elaborate that it couldn't be swapped out when the satire of "GiPads" (ginormous iPads) gets outdated in the wake of our next gadget.
The action isn't limited to the stage either. Huge eyeballs float over the audience as we take our seats. A segment about the brain (replacing the first show's Mr. Wizard explanation of our eyes) expands a "neural network" into the ceiling.
And the new big climactic segment still turns the whole theater into an interactive party, but doesn't waste reams of paper.
Enough confetti still flies, but the real fun is batting around weather balloon-sized exercise balls, glowing from within, as we shake it to techno music - "it" described in numerous flashing definitions: Junk in the Trunk, Bubblepop, Subwoofer, The Closer, Dance Captain, etc.
The dance party is also a good closer for the Blue Man's argument to get away from our computers and into the real world. It's not exactly subtle, when earlier in the show, one texter suggests "actually talking to each other," and the other responds, "Dude, U R creeping me out."
Flashing screens and primal drums are both part of the Blue Man's world. But you know which one will win, every time.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.