BWW Reviews: Engaging and Fun BLUE MAN GROUP at the Peabody Opera House
I've seen Blue Man Group live quite a few times, and on this particular occasion I brought along my son for his second go around with the show. What's appealing to me is that there's still a freshness about their performances, even if a lot of the bits are familiar, such as: the camera tour down an audience member's throat, the snarky message board, the various rock poses, etc. There's certainly no denying the fact that they continually draw large, enthusiastic crowds. The current production that played the Peabody Opera House (April 25-27) provided a cool evening's entertainment, for fans and newbies alike.
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, Mike Brown, Benjamin Forster, Kirk Massey, Patrick Newton, Russell Rinker, Bhurin Sead, and Brian Tavener take on the roles on any given performance with this tour. There's just something endearing and childlike about their deadpan facial features that fits in perfectly with their sense of awe at the oddest and most absurd things.
There was also a real connection with the audience during the performance, 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. Another funny bit involved a young lady and a Twinkie, but I won't divulge the particulars there.
Still, the real draw for me is the music, and I love it when they bring out their own creations to pound on. There's something especially cool about melding together a bunch of pvc-type tubing and being able to coax musical notes from it that completely grabs me. The band backing them up all night is equally awesome and includes: Antonio Aguire, Julian Casaneti, Jerry Kops, Jesse Nolan, Anthony Riscica, Terry Tungjunyatham, Clement J. Waldmann, III and Jeffrey Alan Wright.
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 and fun for all ages.