Blue Man Group returns, engages audience

Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Blue Man Group has come a long way since forming in 1991, as a collaboration between three close friends in Manhattan, New York. Famous for their elaborate lighting, percussions and humorous interactions with the audience, the Blue Man Group has performed on five continents and has been seen by over 25 million people in the world. With their focus on theatrics, percussion and technology, the Blue Men have been a popular commodity.

On Apr. 7 at the Fox Theatre, the lights dimmed and the Blue Man Group appeared onstage. After a long gaze at the crowd, they began pouring paint onto drums while one Blue Man pounced on them, causing an explosion of neon colors on the stage.

One of the first scenes was when two Blue Men caught marshmallows from across the stage, making different art forms with the saliva-filled treats. At the end of the scene, they handed the finished forms to members in the audience.

The show consisted of four background musicians in Native American body paint, a plethora of musical instruments ranging from the trademark PVC pipes to a giant organ-like drum set with an attached plumbing network, and of course, three Blue Men.

For the duration of the show, the audience was on a constant laughing high. It was difficult not to be, when there was even a segment on “butts.” While the show was humorous and playful, there were thought-provoking themes that embraced the performance as well. Their exploration on technology and its diffusion into our society was highlighted by their innovative use of objects we use in our daily lives. At one point in the show, the group brought out three giant screens called “GiPads,” poking fun at humanity’s dependence on technology with creative sayings like “we want to do to reading what drinking does to driving.”

It was an interactive experience, as they left the stage at many points during the performance, engaging with the audience members. Twice, they even brought audience members up on stage to include the volunteers in their theatrics.

The show closed with animated stick figures on the screens coaxing the crowd out of their seats to dance. The whole production team came out and threw streamers and enormous balls of light and various colors into the crowd.

Overall, first-time watchers of the show will undoubtedly have no idea what to expect. other than what the Blue Men’s global reputation assures will be a true extraterrestrial experience.

The show was extremely interactive, as the Blue Men had no boundaries with the crowd. Their performance was a colorful blend of science, art, comedy and music. An experience that feels out of this world, the Blue Man Group is an act that will influence our theatres for years to come.