BWW Reviews: Blue Men Invade Des Moines
The blue, bald headed men of the aptly named Blue Man Group invaded Des Moines last week and proved why they have been leaving their blue prints around the globe for nearly thirty years. Time after time - and with decibels to spare - Blue Man Group brought audiences to their feet.
Blue Man Group is extremely difficult to categorize. The show is typically dubbed as a theatrical experience, but that description does not explain the group or the performance at all. The show employs sound, color, lights, and objects in a way that is unlike any other show currently running.
Blue Man Group opens with an explosion of sound and light that does not let up for the remainder of the performance. The show is broken into a series of skits that range from using gigantic iPad-like displays, to playing PVC pipes as musical instruments, to crunching on Cap'N Crunch cereal. One of the most visually arresting pieces involves two of the blue men pouring colorful paint onto the head of a drum as the third blue man beats with increasing ferocity, splashing the brilliant paint ever higher. This is not a show that is easy to clean up after. Blue Man Group also employs a fair amount of audience participation, culminating in the ultimate dance party finale, in which giant, colorful balloons are thrust into the audience and knocked about by the members of the audience.
Blue Man Group has legions of devoted followers and will continue to gain new ones; however, if it is not your cup of tea the show may be a painful ninety minutes. There are enough flashing, cloyingly bright lights to bring on a state of temporary blindness and some of the bits, at least on this night, felt strained and seemed to drag on too long. That said, it is amazing how much emotion and what a variety of reactions can be communicated without speaking, and painted blue besides. The blue men never utter a word and yet the narrative they are conveying is unmistakable; the jokes land every time.
If you are looking for a unique theater experience, and bright lights and loud noises don't induce headaches, then look no further than Blue Man Group. The colors, lights, and sounds will stick in your memory for years to come.