Friday, November 13, 2009

Blue Man Group: The Sensation

If the sound of musically inclined, paint spitting, jell-o launching, blue-skinned mutants sparks your interest you’ll definitely love The Blue Man Group, an international sensation that has taken over Boston for over five years. What is it about this trio of bald weirdos that has attracted vast number of people to the Charles Playhouse week after week? I can guarantee it’s more than just the Captain Crunch they eat on stage or the insane number of marshmallows one Blue Man catches in his mouth. Although many categorize The Blue Man Group as a mere spectacle, it goes much deeper than you think. To think of these Twinkie-eating Blue Men as wise and benevolent might be a far stretch for some, but the truth is they have much to teach us.

So what exactly is the Blue Man Group all about? Labeling it sure isn’t easy, and quantifying why it’s so entertaining is even harder yet it could be loosely categorized as a percussion performance arts piece. It basically consist of three men, who are literally painted blue, that make music by banging on various things such as glow-in-the-dark drums and PVC tubes. They never speak but easily convey the message through their amazing musicality and creativity. Between the music, short scenes and sketches, audience interaction is one of the biggest parts of the show. As part of their interaction they choose a young lady to participate in their famous Twinkie sketch where she is brought onstage to dine with the Blue Men as their naïve attempt to imitate cultural norms. Another audience member is used in a multimedia piece, and the general audience also gets to be part of the show because the Blue Men take frequent trips through the aisles. In fact the last time I went my head was used for support as one of the mutants literally jumped off the stage, into the audience, and climbed over the chairs.

With various pieces that include interesting themes, one of my favorites would have to be the Information Pollution performance. The audience is asked to choose one of three simultaneous streams of comical information to read leading us to realize we are often overloaded with too much information causing difficulty to focus on one. There are many other interesting themes such as science, technology, and innocence. However the “How to be a Rock Star” skit is by far the best part. Is following a series of instructions all it really takes to put on a rock concert?

No matter how you interpret The Blue Man Group, whether zany or intellectual you’re sure to have a great time. It’s definitely worth your time and money. Take your family and friends; get ready for great music, a good laugh and maybe even a splash of paint on your plastic poncho so be sure to leave your Channel purse at home.

For more information visit their official website at

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