Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Columnist Joe Delaney: Blue Man Group is good, ‘illegitimate’ theater

Joe Delaney's column appears Thursdays and Fridays. Reach him at [email protected] or 259-4066.

"Blue Man Group: Live at Luxor" is a most unusual entertainment experience. ... Sans dialogue, it is, at times, an assault on all the senses. ... Heavy on percussion, this stimulation of abstract responses was written, directed and produced by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, the original Blue Men, who will alternate in shows here with 11 other Blue Men.

It is almost impossible not to get involved and become a participant in the 100 minutes (too long by 20 minutes) of continuous unrelated but cohesive segments. ... There are scenes involving marshmallows thrown by one Blue Man, across the stage, and caught in the mouths of the other two.

Another funny scene involves three boxes of the cereal Captain Crunch, and another, which ran overlong at the show, utilized Twinkies. ... There are unusual homemade instruments, paints, paintings and very creative use of lights and staging.

BMG, continued

A series of show previews began last Friday, continuing until a press opening on March 14, followed by an official opening the next night ... Most of the preview performances will benefit various local charities and vital causes. ... Regular performances will be on Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7 and 10 p.m., dark on Tuesday. ... Show ticket prices are $55 and $65 plus tax.

Blue Man Group has successful shows running in New York City (since 1991), Boston (since 1995), and Chicago (since 1997) in venues that are slightly less than half the size of the 1,200-seat Luxor Theatre.

There is a fine Blue Man Band, live onstage in various innovative settings. ... One of the new effects is an enormous neon-like landscape that comes to life. ... Blue Man Group's stated aim is to bring something uncharacteristic and innovative to Las Vegas.

BMG, concluded

This expanded version fits nicely into the Luxor Theatre. ... Technically, it enables Goldman, Stanton and Wink to really extend their creative horizons. ... Wink is quoted as saying, "Now that Las Vegas has expanded its cultural palette and embraced Broadway-style legitimate theater, it feels like a good time to introduce some illegitimate theater" ... We will report further after the March 14 performance.

New Lady Luck show

Robbie Howard and the Walkers -- Kathy, Bill and Greg -- plus musical stalwarts David Poe, reeds; Tom Marlin, keyboards; and Bruce Miller, drums, have put together an excellent revue at the Lady Luck, "Stars of the Strip," with a $14.95 price tag which is also available with coupons for the price of a drink; well worth a trip to Casino Center.

A rousing ensemble, "Jump, Jive and Wail," opens the performance followed by impressions of the Chipmunks, Katharine Hepburn, Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Kathy's Joan Rivers, Howard and keyboardist Marlin as Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias, Rod Stewart, Elvis, Barbra Streisand, Cher, joined from beyond by Sonny, some virtuoso harmonica and a gospel-tinged "Saints" closer.

The Elvis segment expands into audience participation as three men learn Elvis' karate moves. ... Kathy Walker's carbons are show highlights, as is Howard's impression of Roger Whittaker.

Jazz notes

Trombone great Carl Fontana rejoins the Marv Koral All-Stars, 5-9 p.m. Sunday at the Pierce Street Annex. ... Fontana will also appear in concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Winchester Center) with Rocky Lombardo, trumpet; Tom Ferguson, piano; Bob Badgley, bass; and Pat Sherrod, drums. ... General admission is $10, $7 for seniors, students and LV Jazz Society members.

Good jazz in great settings: The Joe Lano Trio (Napoleon's Room) and Tres Jazz, both at Paris Las Vegas. ... Also the Mike Breene Trio (Santa Fe) and the Friday night sessions at Pogo's.

Recommended: She-Bop, an all-female contemporary pop band, in New York, New York's Empire Lounge, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., today through Saturday, featuring Cheryl Justice, one of LV's finest contemporary blues guitarists, plus singer-songwriter Kimberly K. ... Luxor's Blue Man Group benefit performance Friday has all the proceeds going to Golden Rainbow.

The Woody Herman Orchestra, led by saxophonist Stew Jackson, will play for the third annual Lamont Patterson Big Band Dance Saturday at 7 p.m., Stardust Hotel Ballroom. ... Admission is free but with a ticket. ... Please give to the Sun Summer Camp Fund. ... See you Friday.

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