Theatre
Thursday, 28 December 2006 06:00

Blue Man Group

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Blue Man GroupThe Blue Man Group is innovative and fresh, trendy, yet deservingly so. Therein lies their success. The artistry of color, lights, sounds, visuals, and audience participation is what sets them apart. The show is a completely out of mind and sensory rich experience. Blue Man Group has ventured out extensively beyond New York City’s original Astor Place Theatre. They have opened productions of equal success around the globe.

Blue Man GroupThe Blue Man Group is innovative and fresh, trendy, yet deservingly so.

Therein lies their success. The artistry of color, lights, sounds, visuals, and audience participation is what sets them apart. The show is a completely out of mind and sensory rich experience.

Blue Man Group has ventured out extensively beyond New York City’s original Astor Place Theatre. They have opened productions of equal success around the globe. Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Berlin, London, and Toronto are all among them.

This 500-person organization does not limit themselves to theatre. Their prophecy, ideals, and outlook on life are applied to a variety of media. That media proves to be a successful time and time again. Their debut album, Audio, released on Virgin Records in 1999, was nominated for a Grammy. In 2001 they collaborated with Moby and soul queen Jill Scott for a Grammy telecast performance. Audio went gold. The complex was their next hit. Released in 2003 this rock and roll album features musicians such as Esthero, Dave Mathews, and Tracy Bonham. Their music tour visited over 70 cities worldwide. With a title like The Complex Rock Tour, it is no surprise that it was made into a certified platinum DVD. In 2004 Blue Man Group also provided the sound for FOX’s “The Jury” and the animated feature film Robots.

Embraced by sub culture and critics alike, the mute and very curios Blue Man is the creation of Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink. In 1987 they set out to create a type of theatre that was completely fresh. After a series of meetings, these three friends not only succeeded, but also have since built an empire around something theatre has thrown away.

Chekhov and the realist movement informed and has become the bar for modern theatre. There has not been a victorious movement in the opposite direction until now. This triumphant move has brought back traits of many once celebrated theatrical styles. This includes the Italian Commedia dell'arte. Their performances were funny, used few props, were unscripted, and incorporated a fair amount of audience participation. All of these aspects are main feats in the Blue Man Group show. Of course the technology of today is far superior. So, by combining modern tools with a lost art form, Blue Man Group has done something wonderfully new for entertainment today.

Audience participation begins long before the Blue Men even step on stage. Thanks to an electronic banner that draws attention, the crowd begins reading the instructions that are readily spelled out for them. Happy birthdays ensue and jokes are made at the expense of credit card purchasers.

It is impossible to accurately describe the sound or the visual of three men in blue flawlessly playing large trash can drums as colorful spurts of paint fly into the air. It also remains a mystery how one man can fit 30 plus marshmallows in his mouth at one time. And just when you thought things couldn’t be more shocking, warrior like glow-painted musicians emerge. They play hard rock tunes while animation appears mid air. The blue men toy with audience members throughout, and silently appear awed of the audience. We become the aliens, not the men in blue. In the end there is a rave like party and the visuals are enough make you feel high.

Never has there been a show filled with so much eye popping, ear pleasing stimuli. Learn a few things, laugh with your neighbor, and if you're lucky, you’ll take home a splash of paint.

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