The newest star/rock show at the Hansen Planetarium employs 3-D glasses and laser art for a fun family show of technology set to music.
Stars pulse in the sky. Lines of brilliant light inscribe circles, flowers, sunbursts and dancing objects. During 13, fast-paced musical selections, you feel like you are living inside a kaleidoscope.The 3-D glasses are a new kind of 3-D. The lenses aren't red and green anymore, they're white and shimmery: holographic. Formerly, three dimensionality was achieved by producing double images in different parts of the light spectrum. The audience fused the two images together when they wore glasses with one red lens and one green lens.
These new glasses separate the images themselves along a chromographic scale. The 3-D effect adds a new level of enchantment to the traditional laser/music shows that I found enjoyable to watch in the first place.
There's a plot, too, of course. It's a weak and confusing one: something about a man and a little robot trying to take a crystal somewhere to some planet. The robot character is probably the author's attempt to bring little kids into the theater. A better way to include all members of the family would be to include a couple of songs that are familiar to the little ones. (Right now the soundtrack is exclusively bands like U2, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.)
If the music and art need to be linked to a text, and I'm not positive that words are needed to make the transition between songs, there could be a more meaningful script. At the conclusion of the show, laserist Mike Mills, invites people to talk to him to learn more about the way computerized lasers work.
Perhaps some of this information could be woven into the script. We are selling ourselves short if we think parents won't bring their children to a show that has facts in it.