IOA / USF Plus Blue Men @ Citywalk

Associated parks:
None

Friday, June 8, 2007 2:10 AM
This week I had the chance to head over to Universal and as a bonus take a look at the new Blue Man Group show.

First off - the coasters. I'm still upset that Dueling Dragons no longer has the bell at the beginning of the queue line, I always enjoyed ringing it. The "stained glass" video segment was also out (and the room was blocked off). Also, the lighting in the line went out for about 5 minutes but the ride itself was still operating. How strange!

The Mummy was good as always, I'm always happy when the full Mummy animatronics are working well. The Jaws ride boat driver was terrible, but the earthquake hosts were very enthusiastic. I still can't believe how many people wait for it!

Both parks had their fans and water mist cooling on at full. I don't mind too much, but it wasn't hot, and it is tough to actually avoid those in some spots. I wish they'd shut off the ones that aren’t so much spraying as just dripping. Overall, a typical trip out to that part of town.

Blue Man group was a good show. If I had never seen it before I probably would have been blown away, but it doesn't vary too much (almost a carbon copy) from the other Blue Man shows. While it isn't totally obvious that it is a converted soundstage it has some distinct conversion leftovers. (like the black fabric to cover the electrical and plumbing on the walls behind the seating) Overall, it didn't distract from the show itself. It made me wonder how long they really intend to have the show there. The seating & lobby is much more permanent then the staging equipment and show elements. While it may be a "theatre" for some time, it certainly wouldn't be out of the question to convert this for a different show in the future, or restage elements within this show.

The biggest factor I thought about the BMG show, was that it almost felt like a really good theme park variety act show, but much longer and more sophisticated. A lot of this was that I was surrounded by a very theme park audience (Tons of kids too!) It seemed to fit so well with the audience, I wondered if they would start to do afternoon shows with a park ticket package. I felt bad that they didn't (or maybe couldn't) use kids for some of the audience segments. I think the kids wouldn't have minded a show that was maybe 20 minutes shorter either. It actually can get a little slow. There are some very strong participation elements from the audience, and it doesn't feel as classy as a Cirque show, but while Cirque may be amazing to watch, this has lots of elements to actually feel much more a part of the show. Also be aware that while the arena (touring) show had a strong focus on music, this has more emphasis on the performance of the Blue Men. It's too bad that the ticket cost may price some families out of this kind of entertainment, and is probably the reason it would be hard to justify something like this at parks that don't have Orlando's rich family visitors. A great addition for the park and Citywalk. If you have never seen a Blue Man group show and are there, it's worth it! If you have seen one before - it's still great but don't expect much new stuff.

- Alan L.

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Friday, June 8, 2007 7:52 AM
Did the Orlando show have the "paper finale" that the other permanent shows have?

For me, the music has always been the highlight of BMG. I've seen the Vegas show (when it was still at the Luxor) and the Megastar 2.0 arena show, and was blown away by both.

Jerry

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Friday, June 8, 2007 8:41 AM
The "permanent" shows do tend to all be very similar, although I did notice some changes in the Berlin show that were specific to that location (and I don't just mean that the spoken segments were in German :) )

I love the paper finale, as long as that and "Drumbone" carried over into the Orlando show I'll be happy.

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Friday, June 8, 2007 3:43 PM
It did have the "paper finale" (The kids loved it!) - I kind of wish it had a little more of the high energy music like the Megastar 2.0 tour. There was actually a guy behind me talking about that very same thing. The seating staff was very harsh about cell phones / pictures but overall they were a pretty happy staff. I think they actually took a few phones and the owners had to pick them up at the end of the show!
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Friday, June 8, 2007 10:50 PM
I'll do my own TR, but I have to say it was better than I expected. I think the band has one less string/guitar player and one less percussionist, but they were still pretty good. No "Rods and Cones" with the smaller band, but they did work in a new thing with shaving cream, something that I assume is a clear LCD, and the zoetrope things.

And the "Utne Wire Man" mix of the stage shows and the Megastar tour... that was the shiz-nit, as they say.

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