Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Blue Man Group (finally)

When I was a college student in the Boston area, it was all the rage to usher for Blue Man Group. That might be a slight exaggeration, but I do remember people constantly talking about it. As much as I wanted to see it/volunteer usher, somehow or another, I never got around to it. When I moved to New York, there was always something new to see, so I would always forgot about those long-running shows. About a week ago, I finally had a chance to see what I've been missing at the Astor Place Theatre, where Blue Man Group has been playing since November, 1991.

Blue Man Group was created by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink, who still perform in the show, along with a rotating cast (there are three Blue Men in each performance). It is immediately obvious why this show has lasted so long. It's appropriate for all ages and you don't need to speak English to understand as the Blue Men don't speak. They do, however, create art using gum balls and marshmallows, make music, and make appealing messes. The Blue Men are like inquisitive children and their sense of wonder is contagious, so even a roll of toilet paper can be the source of entertainment. By the time the show ends, audience members are out of their seats and dancing, but unlike other shows where the party atmosphere feels forced, here it feels natural.

For those weary of audience participation, there is plenty in this show. Luckily, all I had to do was hold a bowl of cereal and two flashlights for a few seconds. One woman had to have a dinner of Twinkies on stage with the Blue Men, but she seemed to enjoy herself.

The show has been revamped and even not having not seen the show before, I could pick out the modern additions, such as a Lady GaGa song and giant iPads, and though these did get laughs, contemporary references aren't really necessary to the show. There is something timeless about the Blue Men where even something as simple as paint on a drum will always make people laugh. You know what they say, if it ain't broke...

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