Jacques Fleury reviews a performance of the Blue Man Group

Three men with blue paint on their faces and necks and black tee shirts. Stage lighting is behind them.
By Galeria de Léo Pinheiro – Picasa – Blue Man Group em São Paulo em 02/08/2009
“In age of consumerism and materialism, I traffic in blue sky and colored air.” --James Turrell

Exploring the Arts: Nothing “Blue” About Blue Man Group
By Jacques Fleury

[Originally published in Oddball Magazine & Fleury’s book You Are Enough: The Journey to Accepting Your Authentic Self]

In a world maligned by socio-political division, our society is most definitely overzealous for something to mitigate its intermittent malaise.

Then comes Blue Man Group:  an American Performance Art Company founded in 1987 like a fast moving storm, boldly rushes into The Charles Playhouse to strut their wildly colorful rapid-
fire Ritalin paced show! The Canadian Company Cirque Du Soleil purchased the company in 2017.

The show, which was surprisingly interactive, started out with the audience following the directions of a scrolling marquee. The audience was engaged in reading the words out loud which was meant to be like a warm up before the Blue Man made their blue
appearance. Another thing, which stroked me as peculiar, was that the first three rows of people were wearing raincoats. I must admit, since I was in a suit, I experience some minor anxiety not knowing what was going to happen. All I could think of was the performance artist “Gallagher” smashing watermelons to whet his audience’s appetite for a meticulously planned mess. Toward the middle of the one hour and forty-five minute show, the Blue Man squirted banana juice all over the eager audience! Interpret that as you wish!

Essentially, the show had the flare of a circus with something for everyone! It was what I would call edutainment, a mixture of education and entertainment. At one point, it became philosophical by encouraging us to appreciate the here and now instead of
worrying about what’s coming up next. Then on the other hand it was engaging when the Blue Men picked a female audience member, brought her up on stage and strapped a blue-breasted suit on her. Their comedic talents became evident when all they did for a
few minutes was just sit there behind a table all aligned in a row and stared while their “victim” masquerading as their date waited patiently for the Blue boys' next move.

Eventually they began to interact with her by playing romantic music, setting flowers on the table and sharing their “Twinkies” (described as a finger shaped cake filled with white cream) with her. Again, interpret that as you wish! Then in a disgusting twist, the newly digested Twinkies turned into yellow liquid and began to pour out of their chests, which emanated a drone of disgust from the audience.

All in all, the Blue Men were innovative and alluring. They even parodied what they call “The new Rock ‘n Roll” band as a bunch of choreographed boy bands who eventually disband to break out into their separate “projects” when they reach their height of success as a group. In doing this, they demonstrated their versatility as performers, gyrating their limber bodies to dance music. I was particularly pleased with their drumming, a sound that penetrating my pores so that the drum beats became synonymous with my own
heartbeat. The finale had pounding dance music and rolls of white toilet paper falling from the ceiling in a white fluorescent light reaching a crescendo of climatic proportions! Everyone was
on their feet, saturated in a creamy white glow and giggling like children during recess on the playground.

Then the Blue Men even waited in the lobby for picture opportunities and signed autographs with blue paint. The audience, a mixture of the young and the young at heart, left beaming from ear to ear. And that’s why the Blue Men are here in Boston to turn our moods from “blue” to blissful and for a brief moment, forget about our woe and foster a sense of unity and camaraderie in spite of our disparate identities.

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