BWW Reviews: BLUE MAN GROUP Wows Audience at the Fox Theatre
While I've seen Blue Man Group live and on DVD, they're always tweaking their act so that it's a new experience each time you see them perform. Oh, they're smart enough to keep some of the old gags so that they remain familiar (the camera tour down an audience member's throat, the snarky message board, the interesting instruments),but there's enough current material added so that the group is consistently engaging no matter when you see them. The current production playing the Fox Theatre (through December 2, 2012) is a great evening's entertainment, and seeing it with my seven year old son in tow made it even more special.
It's all about dynamics when you're talking about the unique music that Blue Man Group generates on stage. Add in some interactive bits with audience members, and a rollicking house party climax, and you've got some idea of what you're in for. But creators Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink have crafted characters that are now iconic (Kalen Allmandinger, Shane Andries, James Marlowe, Patrick Newton, Russell Rinker, Chris Smith take on the roles on any given night). There's just something endearing and childlike about the deadpan facial features of the members that fits in perfectly with their sense of awe at the oddest and most absurd things. I mean, who knew Cap'n Crunch could stick so firmly to the blue makeup they wear?
There's a real connection with the audience when Blue Man Group performs, and while some of that comes from them bringing people on stage for various bits, it's their sense of wonder and fun that really wins over the audience and makes them an integral part of the show. One cool moment occurs when they pluck a young man from the audience, dress him in a helmet, and white suit and use him as a human paint brush
The real draw for me is still the music, and I love it when they bring out their own creations to pound on. There's something really cool about taking pvc-type tubing and being able to coax musical notes from them that completely grabs me. And the band backing them up all night is equally awesome (Charles Henry, Jerry Kops, Chris Reiss, Rion Smith, Clement J. Waldmann, III and Randy Wooten).
From Marcus Miller's direction (along with the group themselves) to the Video Designs of Caryl Glaab (with the group as well), this is a superior show that's suitable for all ages. And, the lighting design of Joel Moritz is eye-popping and flashy, adding to the overall rock concert feel of the production.
Even if you've seen them before, Blue Man Group, is well worth your time and attention.