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The performance art odyssey that is Blue Man Group



Review by Emma Whitelaw

THOSE strange little blue men from across the pond, now appearing on TV’s Intel advertisements, are a wonder to behold. Bald, mute, blue and forever pushing the envelope, the Blue Man Group are an astounding trio that have literally taken the world by storm.

With shows in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Berlin they truly are a world-wide phenomenon and one can only hope that they soon take to our shores!

The road to success has been a long and varied one. The lads started out in the late eighties with their first public performance in Central Park.

Nine blue men and women staged a funeral for the 80’s. Throwing various relics from the period into a makeshift coffin, they gave the finger to such infuriations as yuppies, cocaine and post-modern architecture.

What began as a group of three friends has now grown into a 500+ organisation. But despite their enormous success, longtime friends, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, have not lost sight of their original spirit.

The creative geniuses behind the now global group are still very much performance artists at heart.

Their debut album, Audio, was released in December 1999 and was nominated for a Grammy.

The show has one numerous awards and they have been approached by various companies wanting to promote various blue products.

There seems to be no end to the group’s world domination!

They have, however, received criticism from those that feel that Blue Man Group has sold-out. But anyone who has been lucky enough to have seen the show would by far know better.

The production is artisticly raw and imaginative. It questions the bounds of normality and takes its audience on an acid trip of a lifetime!

From Brecht’s alienation theory, to expressing emotions through a twinkie, to creating works of art through eating paintballs and marshmallows, the Blue Man Group truly is an extraordinary display of intellectually accessible theatre.

The various skits are both hilarious and poignant, and there is much social commentary within the piece, although you are having so much fun, you barely notice that you’re actually learning something at the same time.

Young and old alike were delighted to join in the fun as the blue men called upon the audience on many occasions.

At one point they coated an audience member in blue paint, hung him upside down and threw him against a canvas (I can only imagine how much these paintings would go for on ebay).

The performances of all involved were truly outstanding. It really is a production that has to be seen to be believed.

Never before have I witnessed such a spectacular finale as the toilet papered, UV and strobe light assisted KLF extravaganza that blew the entire audience away!
If you ever get the chance, do NOT miss it!

Blue Man Group created, written and produced by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink. Starring Wes Day, Matt Goldman, John Grady, Colin Hurd, Michael Rahhal, Matthew Ramsey, Pete Simpson, Phil Stanton, Steve White and Chris Wink. Musicians, Josh Matthews, Tom Shad, Geoff Gersh, Dan Dobson, Byron Estep, Matt Hankle, Matt Horton, Etan Sekons, Dave Steele, Clem Waldmann. Directed by Blue Man Group and Marlene Swartz.

Editor's note: We've heard rumour this show could be headed to the West End, so thought we'd get in early!

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