BWW Reviews: BLAST Blasts Audiences Away, Comes to Modesto, SoCal
From start to finish, "blast" consists of creative, high energy routines that make every number equally mind-blowing. After an amazing opening act that boasts impressive choreography, the multi-tasking continues. I've always wondered how actors manage to burst into song after a long dance number, and a recent Broadway revival of Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" captured my loyalty with its actors who both sang and played instruments. In comparison, "blast" surpassed all favorites. As I sat in my seat at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College on Sunday, the spectacular show blast me away. You might expect such strong offerings from the big opening number or bombastic finale to a show, but with "blast," every number is its own finale.
The Tony Award winning production, which played Folsom's Three Stages last weekend, comes to Modesto March 24 and 25 after spending a few days in Palm Desert and Lancaster, with performances scheduled in Cerritos the end of this month. And if Sunday's Folsom performance was any indication, the show will draw in sold out audiences everywhere it plays. Far more than basic drum and bugle corps, "blast" offers everything from singing, dancing, and flag twirling to acrobatics, drum wars, and chilling music.
Drummers, brass players and dancers do tricks with their instruments and props and perform choreography that requires extreme coordination and fitness. The physicality of it all on top of the already top-quality live music and added bits of humor and romance, all based on different colors that display themselves in the humble costumes and the flamboyant lighting and personality of the music... fabulous only begins to describe the quality of "blast." The performance even comes with short, fun intermission and post-show entertainment, as well as cheerful and lighthearted audience interaction during both acts.
The show's one fault comes with its rather quick and unexpected ending. Even with yet another overwhelming and grand finale, the short second act leaves audiences saying, "That's it? It's over?" And without a encore, those questions leave a lot of disappointment. Still, nothing can deter the sheer phenomenon that is "blast." I fear I'm running out of synonyms to describe the show's marvel, so I'll end with this: I'm sorely tempted to buy tickets to see it again when its talented team of all ages visits Modesto. Maybe I'll see you there. It's certainly worth the price of admission.
This review is based on a performance at Three Stages in Folsom, CA. For more information on Three Stages and to see the schedule for future performances (including national tours of Cats and The Color Purple), visit www.threestages.net. Blast's schedule for the future weeks is below.
3/17/2012-3/18/2012 Visual & Performing Arts Center at Folsom, Folsom CA, 916-608-6888
3/20/2012 -3/22/2012 McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert CA, 760-340-2787
03/23/2011 Lancaster Performing Arts Center, Lancaster CA, 661-723-5950
3/24/2012-3/25/2012 Galo Center for the Arts, Mary Stuart Rogers Theatre, Modesto CA, 877-488-3380
3/30/2012-4/1/2012 Cerritos Center, Cerritos CA, 800-300-4345
4/3/2012-4/4/2012 Hult Center, Eugene OR, 541-682-5000
04/05/2012 Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham WA, 360-734-6080