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London News
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‘BLAST!’ will end U.S. tour;
new show will open in London this fall

by Steve Vickers
Drum Corp World

Star of Indiana has announced plans to open a brand-new production, based on the highly successful "Shockwave," for an extended run at Queens Theater on Shaftsbury Avenue in London’s West End theater district. It has also been revealed that the U.S. tour of "BLAST!" will end its 27-month schedule in December.

Previews for the new show CYBERJAM will begin August 20 and the world premier is tentatively scheduled for September 23rd.

"Shockwave" was launched last fall in West Point, NY, and has had a seven-month tour spanning more than 50 smaller market cities across the United States and Canada.

The organization has no intention of scaling back or losing steam after launching the two very different shows over the last four years. In fact, producer James Mason is working on another project that he hopes to launch as an off-Broadway production in the near future, as well as a revival of "BLAST!" in a couple of years.

The original "BLAST!" extravaganza opened in December 1999 at London’s Apollo Hammersmith Theater and ran for five months. The show then came to the United States for a limited tour that included appearances in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee before opening at New York City’s Broadway Theater in April 2001 for a six-month run.

At about the same time the New York production ended, a second cast opened at the historic Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO, for what has been a more than two-year tour, taking the show to more than 100 larger market cities in the United States and Canada.

In the midst of the major touring schedule, there were also shortened versions of both "BLAST!" in 2001 and "Shockwave" in 2002 at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center, as well as a 30-minute version of "The Power of Blast" at California Adventure/Disneyland from November 2001 to September 2002.

The majority of young performers in the various productions of "BLAST!" came from drum and bugle corps around North America, while many of the "Shockwave" performers were recruited for the show with backgrounds in jazz and marching band.

Mason has received inquires from event promoters in Germany, France and Monaco to bring the new London show to other parts of Europe after the London show runs its course.

Both Star of Indiana shows have brought considerable attention to the drum and bugle corps activity through advance publicity around the United States and Canada at sites where the productions have appeared, as well as through numerous references in the program hand-out given each person who has experienced one of the performances.

Cast members currently have time off before reassembling at the organization’s headquarters in Bloomington, IN, in June to prepare for the London show.

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