The Cook Group Inc. and Star of Indiana touring production of Blast! — brought to North Carolina's capital city by Broadway Series South — will arrive at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium on March 4 for eight action-packed performances. This magnificent musical extravaganza, which evolved from the drum corps Star of Indiana, won the 2001 Tony® Award for Best Special Theatrical Event and the 2001 Emmy Award for Best Choreography.
Blast! is a one-of-a-kind musical spectacular, developed on the nation's athletic fields. It reproduces the pageantry and showmanship of the country's premier drum and bugle corps.
The director and producer of Blast! is Star of Indiana artistic director James Mason. The show's 54 youthful performers — all highly trained athletics and world-class musicians — hold more than 40 world titles among them. They will be divided into three performing sections: the brass, percussion, and visual ensembles.
"The brass instruments are pitched in the standard multi-keys," according to preshow publicity. "The percussion section includes drums, mallet instruments, and electronic keyboards. The visual element enhances the show by spinning and tossing unusual implements along with the traditional sabers and colorful flags in perfectly synchronized, ballet-like drill."
"Get your tickets now!" raved Richard Quzounian of The Toronto Star. "Blast! is nothing short of breathtaking; a free-wheeling fusion of then and now, [it] dazzles the eye, thrills the ear and stirs the spirit. A sure-fire hit."
Howard Kissel of the New York Daily News agreed: "What a cast, what a 'Blast!' An exhilarating evening." Bruce McCabe of The Boston Globe was equally impressed. "Blast! doesn't falter while bridging the categories of classical, blues, jazz, rock n roll, and techno-pop music," he wrote. "Blast! stands, blows, pounds, marches, and whirls with panache. It sent the full house into repeated bursts of cheering and applause [with] the thrill of seeing sheer virtuosity in a different kind of art form. Blast! is entertainment of a high order."
Richard Christiansen of The Chicago Tribune raved: "'Blast!' And a truer word was never spoken. A terrific good time... explosive entertainment. It is indeed a blast." And Kevin Nance of The Tennessean reported in awe, "I was helpless in the path of this visual and aural juggernaut, which far outdoes [Stomp and Riverdance] with youthful energy and cocky panache.... I had an absolutely marvelous time."
Broadway Series South presents Blast! Tuesday-Friday, March 4-7, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 8, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 9, at 2 and 7 p.m. in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the BTI Center for the Performing Arts, 1 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina. $16-$66. 919/834-4000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/803552. Groups of 20+: 919/231-4575 or firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.broadwayseriessouth.com/2002-2003/encore.html#blast [inactive 4/04] or http://www.blasttheshow.com/tour/.