Blue Man Group: A whole different experience

Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group

Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group

The theatre has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Since age six, I have seen just about every genre from Riverdance to 42nd Street to Urine Town. Now my vast list of genre exposure has grown by one more performance like none other– Blue Man Group.

Blue Man Group is a group of men who travel around the world giving outrageous, gut-busting, bass-pumping, make-me-want-to-get-up-out-of-my-seat-and-dance performances. What makes them so unique is their unprecedented improvisation skills and ever-amazing ability to simply be breathtaking and weird.

The group was started in 1987 by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton. Soon after its premier in Manhattan, New York, the show became extremely popular. There they developed the famous persona of the Blue Man Group, which included three mute, blue skinned men dressed in black clothing.

As the show has evolved, the crew has added new features from instruments to clothing. Some that I saw were eyelets or holes located on the chests of the black suits. They were attached to paint-filled pumps and used to shoot neon paint (and other liquid-like substances) onto beating drums and unsuspecting stage visitors.

These cobalt-colored men are famed for their homemade instruments, such as the PVC pipe “drumbone” and other musical apparatuses that, when hit, erupt neon paint all over the stage and first two rows of the audience, who are given rain ponchos prior to show time. Luckily, I was a few rows out of firing range.

Audience interaction made the show extremely enjoyable. Whether the performers were running around the rows of seats with cameras or pulling people on stage, they always seemed to be too close for comfort to someone.

During the show at DPAC, the men pulled a 20-something-year-old girl on stage, pretending the four of them were on a date that included feeding each other Twinkies and unnecessary uses of a fire extinguisher. She was a good sport considering they could not talk to her.

Another way they interacted with us was by throwing multiple huge canvas balloons (probably 8 feet in diameter) at the audience, making us stand up, push the spheres into the air and all around the audience. Many other items were thrown, as well, such as toilet paper and marshmallows.

There was only one thing I did not like about the show: spotting a possible fake act.

As the men took a spectator backstage, they showed a live video on an enormous screen on stage. The video showed the guest in white coveralls, shoes uncovered, being entirely sprayed with neon blue paint and rubbed onto a life-sized white canvas to make “live art”. When the man came back on stage, still in coveralls, his dress shoes were untouched. Due to the lack of paint on his shoes I was a little skeptical.

Still, the atmosphere of this amazing performance blew away any skeptical feelings I had. I inevitably left with a mind blown and a strong craving to watch it again and again. The Blue Man Group is easily the greatest, most creative performance my eyes have ever seen.

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