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February 17, 2019

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Luxor:

Review: Brash Blue Man Group turns up noise, gale-force winds

Blue Man Group Returns to Luxor

Tom Donoghue / DonoghuePhotography.com

Blue Man Group returns to the Luxor on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, on the Las Vegas Strip.

Blue Man Group Returns to Luxor

Blue Man Group returns to the Luxor on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, on the Las Vegas Strip. Launch slideshow »

There’s no question the new Blue Man Group show back in its Luxor home is a sensory experience. It’s not just them pounding on PVC pipes or beating big drums. Whoever knew smaller drum sets could be made to look and move like praying mantises in a battle of bugs?

It’s not just the fiery, ferocious two-band sections going full belt on upper-stage risers. It’s not just the overload of flashing strobe lights or thousands of yards of tissue paper and confetti pouring over your head. (BTW, it’s such a production that it takes 30 minutes to clean up between performances.)

It is in fact the noise. It’s best described as thundering because there’s a crashing crescendo as a windstorm whips up, temperature cools and gusts blow through the one-time Jabbawockeez theater on the mezzanine of the Luxor. It’s the first time I’ve sat through gale-force winds and enjoyed the experience even though you feel you are about to take off on a runway.

The new music, design, lighting and especially technology make the new finale an entire audience interaction for a euphoric celebration of life. Tis a great, pulsating night of unique theater.

Don’t fret: Blue Man Group has kept familiar favorites: the must-see-to-be-believed mouth-catching demonstration of gumballs and marshmallows; modern plumbing; Captain Crunch snack challenge; and embarrassed late arrivals. Plus, of course, the manic paint drumming, now so close to the audience that the front-row VIPs are given plastic raincoats for protection.

Picking a volunteer for the “feast” of Twinkies is now an athletic exercise for the Blue Men as they clamber and balance dangerously over audience seats and rows. A young lady is picked to then have an onstage dinner before her costume explodes with banana cream going nearly everywhere. The fire extinguisher to extinguish her match for a candle is hilariously and swiftly effective.

My favorite addition to the show as founders Chris Wink and Phil Stanton described in their Q+A posted Nov. 19 before the opening is the “Unlocking of the GiPad,” three wonderfully oversized Android contraptions. This shows off the show’s new technology at its finest.

And either the Blue Men work at the speed of Concord or have doubles to deal with the costume changes behind the oversized computer pads. Another marvel are the drums that blow smoke rings in tandem to the frenetic pace of them being hit.

In all, there are some 25 “bits” from the moment the audience follows along the preshow signage of greeting everybody from VIP guests to nobody’s.

The Blue Man Group is back with its biggest bang yet. They began in what is now the Criss Angel theater in the Luxor, moved to the Venetian, then returned to the MGM Resorts family in the Lance Burton Theater at Monte Carlo.

Now because that’s being built into the new Las Vegas Arena, the Blue Men had to move yet again — taking over the mezzanine home of the Jabbawockeez who have moved to Beacher’s Madhouse in MGM Grand.

It’s a far more effective participatory show because you are literally onstage with the Blue Men. They also come close up and personal in the audience. They have their own world to live in, and we are privileged to step inside it for 90 minutes much to their amusement and bewilderment.

You have many Cirque du Soleil shows to choose, but there is only one Blue Man, and it is extraordinarily powerful, ridiculously funny and brilliantly obtuse. It’s so effective and endearing, you want to be a Blue Man yourself.

There are Blue Man performances nightly at 7 and 9:30 p.m., except occasional Wednesdays and with some weekend 4 p.m. performances. Go to BlueMan.com for more information.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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