Whenever a show changes venues, it presents an opportunity for reinvention. Staging, acoustics, seating arrangements—it’s all different in the new space, and performers must adapt. Whether or not the content of the performance changes, too, is up to the performers themselves. The money question then must be asked: “Is it time to shake things up?” If you’re Blue Man Group (“New Life in Neon”), the answer is yes.
On Oct. 10, Blue Man Group arrived (or, more accurately, skydived) into their new home at Monte Carlo. It’s their third home base in Las Vegas after The Venetian (2005-2012) and Luxor (2000-2005), and their new digs marks a return to the MGM Resorts family, who first made them resident entertainers on the Las Vegas Strip.
Blue Man Group has always struck me as an odd success story—not because they aren’t talented (they are, in spades) or resourceful, but because they’re so avant, so out of the mainstream, so … weird that it seems like the masses would have a hard time catching on. I mean, they don’t speak a word in their show, yet somehow they manage to connect with every age group and demographic. It’s pretty unbelievable. And now, they continue into a second decade on the Las Vegas Strip. People love them—people really love them—and so does the Monte Carlo, which has transformed the theater that once belonged to Lance Burton into a Blue Man-ready experience. Now all that’s left to do is rock out.
Another show that’s reinvented itself over the years is Fantasy (“Sexy and They Know It”), the Luxor’s topless revue that recently celebrated its 13th anniversary with a sizzling 2013 calendar. New production numbers (some choreographed by the dancers themselves) and new comedy bits from Sean E. Cooper have managed to keep the show fresh as its enters its teenage years, a remarkable achievement in a genre not known for its longevity. If there’s any question as to whether 13 is a lucky number, just check out the guys in the front row.