Blue Man Group’s How to be a Megastar Tour v2.0

Having seen Blue Man Group (BMG) both in their original Las Vegas show at the Luxor and now in their How To Be A Megastar 2.0 Tour (Sunrise, Florida, 2-23-07), I can honestly say that I am conflicted. Often, the first time you see a show is usually the best — there’s too many new emotions, feelings, and experiences that are never quite the same the second time around. I feel that way about my first Cirque show too. But you can top yourself, as evidenced by any number of touring concerts. But this is Concept Art Performance, and it’s not the same thing.

In the case of BMG I find myself with mixed emotions about the new tour show that I went to see last night. While I still had a good time and enjoyed the music, I still found myself comparing the Megastar Tour to the permanent show that I had seen in Vegas and, I found Megastar wanting. This show had a lot more of the band and a lot less of the actual BMG. I wanted to see their famous percussion show, and though we got a little of it, the band was more of the focus. I understand that due to the show’s theme, this is probably unavoidable. But I really was expecting to see more BMG, but what we got was BMG and band plus some comedy. (And an opening act I didn’t care for at all.)

One fun part was the audience interaction they did manage to pull off. If you brought your mobile phone you could text the word “blue” to a special number. They’d send you messages back, for a total of five. You had to provide an e-mail address and then they entered you into a contest to win a trip back stage after the show, which I naturally did not win. This was really neat and kept us entertained before the show.

A big difference between the two shows is the venue — and it’s critical to my mixed feelings because the atmosphere is all wrong; BMG required you to feel you’re part of the show to work best. The theatre at the Luxor in Las Vegas, where I first saw BMG, was a fairly small theatre with a fairly compact stage, though it’s moved to the Ventian so I can’t say how it is now. No matter where you sat in the Luxor’s theatre you were still close to the show and could see the facial expressions of the Blue Men with no problem. You always felt like you part of the show because the audience was continually involved.

That audience participation and intimacy helped make the entire experience rather unique, but with the MegaStar Tour you’ve got a cavernous venue — the BankAtlantic Centre with over 19,000 seats of which about 2/3rds full — and rather poor-quality video projection screens to show the people what is happening on stage. In fact, the monitor’s jumpiness was quite irritating. You might as well watch on television, and that’s a real problem. I worry that people who see this BMG as their first show might not return. It was good, but it wasn’t “oh my God, I should see this again!”

Anyway, the point is I would have to recommend a permanent show of BMG. While I liked it, had fun, the intimate experience is too much a part of their show to separate it. I loved Vegas, and I know they have shows in Chicago, New York, London, and coming soon to Orlando. I believe anyone would be best served seeing one of these shows first. There’s nothing bad about this show, but it isn’t a proper BMG experience.

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