Blue Man Group-what could one expect from a show that has huge popularity, open ended productions, and a tour across the United States? There are three men who are painted blue, and for an hour and forty-five minutes they are on stage doing random things, and drumming on PVC pipe. Backed by at least eight other drummers and guitarists Blue Man Group is part concert part pantomime show. With all the fame the show has amassed high expectations were set coming into the show, however they were unfulfilled at the curtain call.
Perhaps the best attribute Blue Man Group has is its theatre. Housed in the Venetian, the enormous stage is decorated with two water tanks on opposite sides where a blade creates a tornado effect inside the water. Scaffolding surrounds the rear of the stage where several musicians perform. Two balconies that sit high above the left and right side of the stage also house some musicians. When purchasing tickets to Blue Man Group, one has the opportunity to sit in the poncho zone. Here each person is provided with a plastic bag style poncho to wear but this is nothing more than a gimmick. Neither paint or any other kind of liquid left the stage and wearing the poncho for nearly two hours did nothing more than make this reviewer hot.
Not much seemed to happen during the show. The sounds of the PCV drum were interesting, yet the music seemed to sound similar throughout the show. One of the signature elements of the show was performed at the beginning of the show a paint drumming. During this, the blue men poured paint and drummed. This created some splashing, and although they held canvases near the drum, the result was nothing more than splattered paint on the canvas. The neon colored paint is an essential part of many of the sketches, but it yielded nothing more than splatter on canvas. Blue Man Group does have a signature soundtrack but at times it seemed they were attempting to play popular music, the Lady GaGa song Poker Face seemed to resonate during the show.
The blue men perform comedic sketches. Some members of the audience responded well to them but this reviewer was not moved. The humor relies on droll engagements with each other and it was not funny. During a sketch where the blue men were shooting paint filled balloons in a giant slingshot an alarm went off signifying latecomers. The blue men used a spotlight to show the audience the people and the cameraman showed their entry via the large screen above the stage. Since the paint filled balloon sling shot sketch was never resumed it raised great suspicion of plants in the audience especially since it was about forty minutes into the show. Latecomers to a show are rarely that late.
Audience interaction is a significant part of the show. The majority of this is nothing more than the performers going into the audience and staring at the patrons. One could assume the intent of this is the blue men are perhaps aliens and they are puzzled at the humans they are seeing. Since this happened numerous times it became repetitive and dull. There were two times when they took a member of the audience on stage. One was a female who they took into a large box on stage and after spending a few minutes with the performers she left with her hair messed up perhaps to signify something sexual. The second was a man from the audience who was taken off stage, but the audience was shown with a live television camera that he was suited up with a jump suit hoisted in the air by his ankles and covered in blue paint by stagehands and slammed into a large canvas.
More drumming and audience staring continued through the rest of the show until the finale when the signature blue man finish occurred. The blue men ran to the back of the house and pulled dozens of rolls of paper and covered the audience. The intent of this is to cover the audience in toilet paper, but the paper was more of a thick paper towel. Hundreds of feet were pulled from at least fifty rolls. Like a beach ball at a sporting game, the audience tossed the paper around and towards the front of the stage. Since the blue men did nothing with the paper, no paint was used during this scene it left some puzzled questioning, "What is the point of this?"
Overall, Blue Man Group was a huge disappointment. For all the fame and popularity the show has nothing much seemed to happen. The comedic sketches are comparable to laughs one would get at the worst comedy club and the elements of the show that were intended to be a performance piece did not seem to have any significant meaning with any other part of the show. The novelty of the PVC pipe drumming quickly faded and after sitting in a plastic poncho, covered in paper and completely dry it leads this reviewer to question how a show like this can be so successful.
Blue Man Group
NIGHTLY:7:00 PM & 10:00 PM
$112.85 - $158.50 (includes tax)