June 2013 Archives

Blue Man Group: Revisited

"Is there anything I need to know about Blue Man Group going in?"
How do you even describe Blue Man Group?  It's three guys, painted blue, who do a series of vignettes that are funny or visually engaging, and they're painted blue, and.. well...
"Heck, I don't think you even really need to know English."
In the 13 years since I've last seen them at the Astor Place Theater, lots has changed for the Blue Men.  Their downtown off-Broadway NYC success was parlayed into much larger venue'd shows in Orlando, Vegas and elsewhere, spawning a few music albums and resulting in some newer vignettes of a grander scale.  Some of these additions have recently worked their way back into the off-Broadway production, much of the new material cetering around 3 human-sized iPhones which occasionally lower from the ceiling for the Blue Men to interface with.  These new setpieces often involve clockwork-perfect timing to produce some hilarious choreography in the interaction with the technology.  In fact I would say that the added elements seemed to take up half of the running time, making a revisit absolutely worthwhile for those who haven't seen the show in a decade.
And yet, for those who never got to see some of those earlier incarnations, a partof me laments the passing of the pre-ADD version I saw back when.  The new stuff is indoubtably cool, but the simplicity of the original--three dudes painted blue, entertaining you with nothing more than paint and plumbing and drums, a handcrafted feel--is now replaced by rock concert movements and a lot of whatever you can call the non-90s word for "Multimedia".  The sketches about Captain Crunch and Twinkies still hold up, but how can they not feel quaint when compared to in-show "apps" and LED screens that suddenly come alive and begin dancing?

But Blue Man Group has to be commended for keeping up with the times.  Perhaps I'm kidding myself to say I could enjoy myself with the "quainter" version nowadays; when the Blue Men ventured into the audience halfway through the show to stare at various audience members, I found myself restlessly impatient for for Rock Concert Movement Number Two.  So kudos to the creators for keeping up in an era where it's difficult to focus on just one thing at a

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Blue Man Group: Revisited
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