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August 30, 2014

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Blue Men still drumming up a lot of excitement

"Blue Man Group: Live at Luxor," now in its third year, stands alone as the only production show in a major Strip hotel performing seven days a week and doing 14 shows. The 1,200-seat Luxor Theater was full at the early weekday show we attended. The audience was thoroughly warmed up and involved before the Blue Man Group made its appearance.

The spoken word is at a bare minimum, performed by offstage voices, adding brief humorous touches. Otherwise it is a multi-sensory experience: aural, visual, and emotional. The show combines theater, vaudeville, art, science and percussive music on a variety of unusual instruments, resulting in spontaneous audience participation throughout the seemingly too-short performance.

What ensues is unique, original and great fun. The cast consists of three enigmatic bald and blue male characters plus seven outstanding musicians. The three men in blue are incredible percussionists in their own right. The stage set is in full view during the 30-minute warm-up, reminding one of the set for the Stephen Sondheim musical, "Sweeney Todd."

Despite the small cast of 10, the production makes full use of the theater's vast stage area. The big screen opening was followed by a segment using three sets of posters with a warning that audience members should select just one and stay with it, which no one does, of course, with humorous results. This leads into the classic Cap'n Crunch cereal scene.

The trio were joined by a woman from the audience; if not a plant, she should be. This segment as always was a show-stopper.

Now it's time for drumming on tubular pipes of all sizes. The Blue Men were back in the audience with a tiny camera to film the interior of a spectator's mouth. Strange doings but always funny. There is no let-up, no intermission, just nonstop fun.

There's so much more, including a man from the audience who becomes a human paint brush and a brilliant demonstration of what sound would look like if we could see it. Incredible imagery, especially a desert landscape that comes to life. All this plus a three-standing-ovation finale at the show caught.

Whatever other shows you attend in Las Vegas, your visit will be incomplete if "Blue Man Group: Live at Luxor" is not included.

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