BWW Reviews: BLUE MAN GROUP Nothing But Fun, Fun, Fun at Palace Theatre

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BLUE MAN GROUP nothing but fun, fun and more fun at the Palace

Roy Berko

(Member, American Theatre Critics Association, Cleveland Critics Circle)

Ian, my thirteen year old grandson, who I often bring along to judge whether theatre productions are both appropriate and will be enjoyable for kids, just kept repeating, "That was fun," as we returned to our car for the trip home.

He had seen the BLUE MAN GROUP when they appeared locally in 2010. I had assumed that the present invention would be filled with new shticks and gimmicks. He was actually pleased that most of the goings on were retreads of the old. He was delighted that five of his favorite bits unfolded before his big blue eyes and ever smiling face.

Yes, the Twinkies routine, where an unsuspecting audience member is brought on stage and participates in an exercise in which the center cream of the cake delicacy gets sprayed out into the first four or so rows of the audience, was there. (Fortunately, we were in row six.) And so was the painting created by hanging an audience member up-side-down from a crane, and bouncing him against a blank canvas after he had been covered with various shades of paint. (Ian's only complaint was that he wasn't the one being body-slammed.)

And, of course, the Captain Crunch cereal eating, or rather orally spraying of cereal into the audience, was enacted. What kid doesn't want to participate in a food fight?

Ian is still trying to figure out how one Blue Man stuffed 29 marshmallows into his mouth and then used them to create a sculpture piece. He is now the possessor of one of the marshmallows used in the routine and, I assume, now at home teaching his older brothers how to perform the deed.

Also included was the presence of huge balls being thrown out into the audience for eager participants to bounce them from floor to the balcony to the ceiling of the massive Palace Theatre.

Is it possible to spend 90 minutes at the theatre, not hear a single word spoken, and be totally and absolutely delighted? When you go to see the touring production of BLUE MEN GROUP, and there is no doubt, no matter your age, that you should go, at the end of the experience you'll be standing on your feet, applauding and shouting for joy, and trying to hit the big balls as they sail all around you, accompanied by confetti and streams of fiber.

BLUE MAN GROUP combines music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a unique form of entertainment. This isn't a play. It isn't vaudeville. It isn't Cirque du Soleil. It is unique!

To make it even more exciting, not only is the audience entertained, but they also learn. Did you know the eyes see a color and the brain translates it into others? Do you know what 2 ½ dimensional space is all about? Do you know "the 7 rock concert moves?" Do you know the hysteria that texting can create in a conversation between virtual texters?

Yes, through electronic gimmicks, flying colored paint, filling their mouths with marshmallows, eating Twinkies, audience participation, drumming (yes, it does get loud and the bass moves the theatre's floor under your feet), three on-stage performers, a band and seven Blue Men hidden in the dark on-stage, teach and delight.

Be aware that this is a 90-minute show with no intermission. In spite of the warnings by the ushers, the pre-show speech, and visual clues on stage, as the show went on the aisles were bustling with people exiting and entering. Several times the performers gave anguished looks at the patrons. In one instance, a stage spotlighting was pointed at several women. What a bad message these people gave the cast about the manners of Clevelanders.

CAPSULE JUDGEMENT: BLUE MAN GROUP is a total delight. Go, go, go and have a unique theatrical experience!

Tickets for the show, which runs through February 17, can be ordered by calling 216-241-6000 or going to http://www.playhousesquare.org




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About Author

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Roy Berko Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.

He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.


 
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