BWW Reviews: Broadway San Jose's BLUE MAN GROUP Astounds
You may have seen Blue Man Group on YouTube or you may have visited their website, but until you've actually caught their act in person, then nothing can prepare you for this one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world experience. Using comedy, music and yes, meals, art projects and dance, Blue Man Group is full-throttle fun, deliriously served up and flung out into the audience - which is why the front row people are given plastic ponchos to wear! Hodges and Hodges joined Broadway San Jose patrons at the gorgeous Center for the Performing Arts, where Blue Man Group is delighting all ages, now through April 7.
Nick: How can I describe them? Basically, they're three guys covered in a blue-latex-type material, purportedly from another planet. They've landed in San Jose and are exploring their new surroundings and we get to be a part of it. I liked that they started out the show with audience participation. There were these small screens with words scrolling across them directing the audience to speak out loud at certain points. That got everyone laughing. I thought it was a good way to break the ice.
Linda: It was a lot of fun - and fun is what the evening was about. This was no high-brow affair - in fact I don't even think they had eyebrows!
Nick: I couldn't believe it when audience members were commandeered to help create the wild, wacky, outrageous fun. I laughed when one woman was brought on stage to share a Twinkie meal and was shocked when gooey "stuff" began oozing out of the vest that they gave her to wear.
Linda: She was funny in her own right and really added tremendously to the show. What I found interesting was that she never spoke - mimicking the BMG in that they never utter a word either.
Nick: I thought it was really funny when all the action on stage stopped and the trio focused all of their attention on the people who had arrived late for the performance. Thank god it wasn't us! How embarrassing, but really very funny.
Linda: At least their bodies weren't used to create a full-sized human art project (which was later displayed in the lobby)! Strung upside down, rolled in paint and then flung against a blank canvas is probably more than one audience member bargained for!
Nick: I thought the inventive ways that they created different sounds was wonderful. PVC pipes, crunchy cereal, and an array of drums mixed with color, lights and paint made the experience unforgettable.
Linda: The "rock concert" portion of the evening was the highlight for me. Everyone was invited to shake their badonkadonks and play with big balls that bounced around the theatre while confetti shot through the air. The place was filled with squeals yes, squeals, of delight.
Nick: I squealed myself a couple times, LOL. The energy was high at that point, but I did find some parts to be a bit on the slow side. When they came out into the audience looking for participants it dragged on for far too long. You could feel people getting a little restless.
Linda: That's never good for a show. Timing, rhythm, instinct is everything.
Nick: But all around I thought it was a wonderful show. I want to invite all my friends to go and see it before it leaves town. It truly is something you have to see before it leaves.
Linda: Yes, we recommend that you go and be a part of the fun. Lighting design (Joel Moritz) and dazzling use of video projections (Caryl Glaab and BMG) meshed with heart-thumping rock music (sound design by Todd Perlmutter). And free-flowing food and paint created a dynamic of absolute abandon from the work-a-day world. Blue Man Group could single-handedly change the definition of what it means to feel "blue." I think everyone should have a giant confetti machine and big balls to bounce around the house whenever they want to feel "blue." Go and experience Blue Man Group. Then you'll really get their opening statement which read in part, "when you create something with others, you build a connection that lasts a lifetime."
From This Author Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges