PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHTS


Blast "Blast! rocked the Wang Theater Wednesday night. It's not Riverdance or Stomp, but it's right up there in that league. It's an object lesson proving that true spectacle cannot be contained on a television screen.

The spectacle, making its North American tour debut here, is an exuberant 15-number show that doesn't falter while bridging the categories of classical, blues, jazz, rock n roll, and techno-pop music. Blast! stands, blows, pounds, marches, and whirls with panache. It sent what seemed to be a full house into repeated bursts of cheering and applause. The thrill of seeing sheer virtuosity in a different kind of art form. It is entertainment of a high order."

-Bruce McCabe, Boston Globe

"The presence of musical performers on a PBS pledge drive has never argued for artistic quality. Whether it be superannuated opera trios, blinds tenors, blarney tenors, music theater divas …the appeal has always been depressingly middle of the road. But now there's Blast!

It's hard to know what to call this extravaganza but this viewer was bedazzled from the first minute. The visual element is stunning. The breathless pace never let up. But this is what I liked most. Here were all these terrific instrumentalists, most of them classically trained. Far from seeming like band geeks, they came across as the coolest, sexiest of stars. What's the last time that happened?"

-Ellen Pfeifer, The Boston Phoenix

"Blast! blasted off in it North American premiere last night exploding into the Wang Center. It has the potential to become the next "hot" entertainment phenomenon like Riverdance. But unlike these European creations Blast! is uniquely American. It is exciting, energetic, inventive, unique and intriguing."
-Nancye Tuttle, Lowell Sun

"Ireland gave us Riverdance, England produced Stomp. Now comes the American contribution to the music-in-motion movement. The audience went wild. Blast! is a joyous musical celebration. For the next few days you have a chance to see something that the rest of the world will soon be talking about."
-R.J. Donovan, ShowBiz Boston

"Blast!-as explosive as a fireworks finale over the Charles River, this is perhaps the most aptly titled production ever to grace the stage. It is nearly impossible to discuss the spectacle without mentioning its wildly successful peers Stomp and Riverdance. Yet, Blast! moves the genre into entirely uncharted territory. It is nothing short of a revolution."
-Boston City Search "Intense choreography performed with astounding precision. Blast! is simply stunning."
-Cuong P. Hoang, South End News, Boston

"An innovative and exuberant musical journey! Start lining up for tickets!"
- Billboard Magazine

"The dazzling spectacle appropriately titled "Blast!" …is picture perfect. The opening night audience greeted the show's pulsating pageantry with the excitement of a successful NASA ground crew. Blast! is a soaring takeoff to new frontiers of sight and sound."
-Jules Becker, Telegram and Gazette

"Whoa! Talk about a religious experience."
-Bob Tremblay, Metrowest Daily News

"Wildly creative, exhaustingly energized two-hour show that is sound and motion from front to finish."
-Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"The only word that comes to mind is 'incredible.'" "Word of advice: Do not miss this show."
- Katy J. Vopal, Time Out Milwaukee

"It almost makes you believe in magic."
-Martin F. Kohn, Detroit Free Press

"Rhythmically Intoxicating! This is Great Theatre!"
-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

"'Blast!' And a truer word was never spoken." "A terrific good time...explosive entertainment." "It is indeed a blast."
--Richard Christiansen, Chicago Tribune

"One of the most delightful shows of the year! You never want it to end!"
--Dean Richards, WGN

"The electrifying, visceral appeal of Blast! is hard to overestimate, and apparently hard to resist, given that it is sold out. Little wonder. No rock show can top this - not in musicianship, not in sheer mesmerizing drive, not even in lighting and special effects. In short, "Blast!" is a show that lives up to every letter in its title, right down to the exclamation point."
-Gary A. Panetta, Star Journal (Peoria)

"An explosive musical blowout...A thrill ride...It's about the rush of energetic thrills put forth...Blast! ultimately leaves its audience begging for more."
-Kevin C. Johnson, Post-Dispatch (Saint Louis)

"A potent combination of bravura musicianship, breathless prop-spinning and flawless precision drill melded with sometimes frankly erotic choreography, the fresh-faced young cast held a audience rapt in a near-constant state of delirium. …I was helpless in the path of this visual and aural juggernaut, which far outdoes its elders with youthful energy and cocky panache."
-Kevin Nance, The Tennessean

"Blast! is filled with color, spectacle, youthful energy and the sound of great brass and percussion playing. Visually, the show is stunning."
-Ken Glickman, Lansing State Journal

"[Blast! has] a youthful, joyful enthusiasm that is absolutely contagious."
-John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Blast! [is] slick, seamless, well-rehearsed and razor-sharp entertainment … a tumult of impressions that engage eye, ear and emotion."
-Alice T. Clark, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"Enough energy to light a city...Blast! carries the day on good humor and high spirits, precision and music."
-Jim Seavor, the Providence Journal

"Blast! is a blast of pure entertainment...and you've never seen anything quite like it."
-Marion Garmel, Indianapolis Star

"Remember the last show you saw that got a standing ovation? Now try to think of one that had the audience on its feet - at intermission. They stepped, strutted, stomped, romped, ran, rung, hung, flung, flew, threw and played their way through 16 numbers (17 if you count the percussion encore in the lobby that stopped the departing crowd in its collective tracks). It was Blast! and it was fantastic…. That said, the show is a cacophony of color and creativity - a musical montage offering nearly two hours of stimuli."
-Jan Perry, Cincinnati Post

"[The Blast! cast is] young, cheerful, energetic, attractive - and talented…they seem to personify what we hold dear."
-Jackie Demaline, The Cincinnati Enquirer

"This group of accomplished musicians stormed the stage, grabbed the audience and refused to let go … 'Blast' tells a brilliant musical story..."
-Monica Gillen, Des Moines Register

"The audience, from the traditional opening nighters to the many children in the audience loved it. ...[This is a show] you could see a second or third time without tiring."
-Glenn Giffin, The Denver Post

"Few emotions are more contagious than joy…During every minute of this high-energy marching-band revue...it's clear that the cast members are having the time of their lives. From one delightful number to the next, the joyful noise they make continues unabated."
-Marc Shelgold, Rocky Mountain News

"[Blast!] is a true fantasia..."
-Eric Marchese, Orange County Register

"[Blast!] had Tuesday's opening night crowd cheering, yelling and carrying on as if the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync had taken the Gammage stage together. I've never seen a more revved-up, responsive audience..."
-Max McQueen, Arizona Tribune

"[Blast!] is an evening of jaw-dropping, hugely enjoyable entertainment. Only who would have thought it would be such fun?"
-Kyle Lawson, Arizona Republic

"Blast! blew away the crowd at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center… From the start, the cast seemed to delight in exhausting the audience with its breathless bravado."
-Jennifer Barrs, Tampa Tribune

"You have never seen or heard anything like "Blast!" unless you have some extraordinary dreams."
-Peter Smith, St. Petersburg Times

"Blast! is the hottest jazz band in the land. How hot?…audience applauding, cheering and whistling at the end of...their first number."
-Jack Zink, South Florida Sun Sentinel

"[Blast!] is indeed special and highly theatrical. Blast! is just that - a blast."
-Christine Dolen, The Herald - Miami

"[Blast!] is an uplifting, exuberant family entertainment."
-E. Kyle Minor, New Haven Register

"...when Blast! projected a sense of fun, it was irresistible."
-Mary Kunz, Buffalo News

"A rousing blend of sounds, colors and whirling movements, Blast! ranks as one of Broadway's most exuberant spectacles."
-Michael Groddberg, The Columbus Dispatch

"Judging from the overwhelming audience response…Blast! will be a huge box-office success."
-Tony Brown, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[Blast!] left (the) opening night audience in a state of raucous exhilaration..."
-James A. Tarbox, St. Paul Pioneer Press

"[Blast!'s] music is superb."
-Tim Harlow, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[Blast!] had the crowd ...for (the) opening night performance clapping along and cheering for much of the night."
-James D. Watts Jr., Tulsa World Review

"Exclamations of "Wow!" and spontaneous applause erupted frequently..."
-Sue Merrill, Grand Rapids Press

"[Blast!] is…an entertaining evening that's all about making a joyful noise - a sort of kick-ass Up With People."
-John Coulbourn, The Toronto Sun

"This is ...entertainment with a tail that never stops wagging."
-Michael Crabb, National Post (Toronto)

"[Blast!'s] national tour is, apparently, setting off sparks….It's is a refreshing change."
-Mark Lowry, Star-Telegram (Dallas)

"Blast! saturates with a heart-thumping blend of sound and color...the dazzle never stops."
-Tom Sime, The Dallas Morning News

"If you got too close, the performers probably would play your noggin. Believe me, you would never sound so good….If this is what they do in performance, I can only imagine how they must party."
-Howard Shapiro, the Philadelphia Inquirer


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