Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vegas: Shows, Everybody Likes Shows

It's all about the shows in Vegas. We had the opportunity to have what I'll call a "double double." My basketball friends enjoying March Madness, don't be confused, this is a double double Vegas style. (Those who are not of the basketball terms persuasion, a double double is when a player has double figures in both points and rebounds in one game.)

My Vegas Double Double is this: watched two shows: performed two shows.

This entry will be on the shows we watched.

Las Vegas Shows

Blue Man Group

I love these Blue Men! Having seen them in Chicago, last August, I was elated to see them again.
We saw them on our first full day in Vegas, Friday night. For those who are not aware, Blue Man Group is a show which features three Blue Men mute musicians who synthesize innovative percussion, visual stimulation, theatre, satire, and a message of unity.

It was so wonderful to share this experience with my friends; to watch and listen for their reactions and for the discussions that followed afterwards. As a part of the pre-show, there are scrolling marquee signs, at the very beginning of the marquee segment it said Blue Man Group would like to welcome "BYU DIVINE COMEDY." We roared with screams, applause and overall joy.

Not only is the show stunningly, visually stimulating it has AMAZING music. These performers are musicians. In fact after seeing them in Chicago I found out that in the audition process, they examine their percussion skills first, then their acting. The quality is of utmost importance when performing to the Blue Man Group and they succeed, oh my goodness do they succeed.

In comparison to seeing Blue Man Group in Chicago, there were some small differences, but overall it was very much the same. There were two segments that were not in Chicago, but the remaining segments were in Chicago. One thing that I liked better about Chicago was the smaller theatre, and therefore audience. It was a much more intimate experience, where the messages of unity were able to resoundingly ring true as there was a smaller, closer audience.

Granted, I would recommend seeing Blue Man Group wherever you can, as often as you can. But if one has the choice I would recommend Chicago, though there are perks to Vegas as well. For example in Chicago the band is in one kind of crammed area the whole time. Whereas in Vegas, they are in two larger locations at first then they disperse to 6 separate locations on three different levels. That was awesome, there were able to move more freely and visually become more a part of the show. Now, I'm kind of torn...just go see it.


We were able to see the 10 p.m. show on Saturday night, following our performance for the Las Vegas Young Single Adults (more info. to come). Spamalot is a musical based on the film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." What's interesting is based on the location that you see the show, it really is a different show. In Vegas there are a lot of Vegas jokes and in New York there are jokes about Broadway.

This is us outside of the theatre recreating "the ministry of silly walks."

Overall, there were some really funny scenes and some that I could go without, essentially because they were crude.

The hands down most hilarious song was "You Won't Succeed On Broadway." Through a sequence of events, King Arthur must put a show on Broadway, this song is when Sir Robin explains to King Arthur, played by John O'Hurley, that "You Won't Succeed on Broadway if you don't have any Jews." It was just hilarious, plus to add to the hilarity that it already was. Our cab driver from the previous day from the strip to The Firefly restaurant (more info. to come) we were discussing this very thing, that in the performance industry you either have to have connections, or be Jewish.

The musical was enjoyable but in some ways it felt very rushed. Spamalot in New York is a full 2 act show at 2 hours and 30 minutes, but in Las Vegas they have cut it to be 90 minutes with no intermission. They completely cut one song, and have reduced three others scenes/songs. Granted, I've never seen the full version, but I'd imagine the New York Version would seem more cohesive.

But, the coolest thing about seeing Spamalot was what occurred after Spamalot. In the show there were three BYU graduates: Jeff McClean (ensemble), Robert Moffat (ensemble) and Aaron De Jesus (Mayor, Patsy and Guard 2). Rob took us on a full backstage tour, we got to see the side back, front, on, and under stage. You name it we most likely went there. This is Laurel and I in the backstage elevator.

Rob charmingly rambled off wonderful, what he said was useless trivia to us. For example, in the "Feet of God" scene two real fire extinguishers are used each show, with a new set of fire extinguishers being brought in every four days. Aaron De Jesus joined us for the latter end of our tour, it was really awesome.

Perhaps the highlight was the whole group getting to go into the giant Spam can. This can was made for the announcement of the show. One of the producers, I believe it was Eric Idle, wanted to have a giant Spam can for John O'Hurley to pop out of at the announcement. Two days and $10,000 later, they had it. And on March 22, Divine Comedy got in touch with it's inner Spam.

PS: Have you ever looked at a word thinking you spelled it incorrectly, even though you are positive it's correct? This happens to me frequently with the word "show."


The Former 786 said...

So. . .Jealous. . .right now. . .must . . .contain. . .jealousy!

Fergi the Great said...

Your glowing reviews inspired me to go see the shows in Vegas. I've lived here for three years and never been to a show on the strip...or a strip show...hmm...

For my own part, I liked DC. I'm glad I stumbled on the pro-tour DVD back in 2006.