Blue Man Group adapts to new digs at Luxor

A Blue Man can catch a marshmallow in his mouth just about anywhere.

And that’s been an adaptive skill in Las Vegas, where the Blue Man Group became a 15-year institution but carved those years among three casino theaters.

The cobalt chrome domes make almost a full circle this week as they reopen at Luxor, where the Las Vegas journey began in early 2000 (Shows through Tuesday are considered previews, before the official opening night Wednesday).

The original “Live at Luxor” was downstairs, in the theater now used by Criss Angel. The new Blue Man show is on the pyramid’s second level, in a smaller theater originally built for the break-dancing Jabbawockeez, who have moved to the MGM Grand.

Both moves were musical chairs set in motion by MGM Resorts International demolishing the existing theater at the Monte Carlo — the Blue Man’s most recent home — to make way for a 5,000-seat concert hall.

“It certainly wasn’t our choice to move, but we’re happy with the opportunity that it represented,” says Jack Kenn, general manager of the Las Vegas production. “Once you get in the situation, you certainly get inspired by the surroundings.”

The 800-seat theater is the smallest of Blue Man’s four Las Vegas venues and in some ways takes the group back to the original off-Broadway production performed by the three founders (Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink) and the material that still makes up roughly the first half of every Las Vegas show.

“You can see the Blue Men’s faces without having to look at them on a video screen,” Kenn says.

But on the other hand, “We’ve absolutely learned a lot in 15 years.” And one of the things they’ve learned? “This is Vegas and it has to be spectacular.”

The challenge was “to completely rethink how we get a spectacular experience into a more intimate space,” he adds. “We’ve successfully done it in our other cities (so) we had some history on how to do that.”

Those who saw the Jabbawockeez in the same space might be surprised at what the blue dudes have done to the place.

When Kenn first saw the dance troupe, he thought, “Wow, these guys are really close! How are we going to get all our stuff in here?”

But it turns out, “they sort of had a rehearsal room behind the stage … . We pushed further back into the backstage area, really squeezed our backstage area to get more playing space. We didn’t take down any walls. We just took more of the space that was there to be theatrical performance area, versus backstage area.”

Some of the PVC contraptions that test the Blue Men’s musical proficiency are now built into the set instead of rolling on- and offstage.

The New York-based troupe didn’t find out the Vegas show was moving until early summer, but it already had scaled down its Monte Carlo act in March. Dropping some of the spectacle, such as a scene featuring assembly-line robots, was “a move back to a more character-centric show and getting the Blue Men even more in your face,” Kenn says.

The show is “a constant reminder of who we are and where we came from,” he adds. “We’re always cautious to say it’s a new show, because we don’t feel like we have an old show.”

— Read more from Mike Weatherford at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com and follow @mikeweatherford on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like