BWW Reviews: Still Crazy After all these Years, BLUE MAN GROUP Hits DC

BWW Reviews: Still Crazy After all these Years, BLUE MAN GROUP Hits DC

When I was still in college, I got a job as an usher at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. A new show had just opened and it was weird. 3 men dressed entirely in black with their bald capped-heads, faces and hands painted blue. It seemed very "New York" and avant garde, but I gave it a shot. Over the course of the following year, I sat through the show well over a hundred times - and every time was amazing.

As that was the first production outside New York, the show's creators, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink were frequently there and sometimes stepped into their original roles - so I was able to see a lot of the intention behind the work.

For those who haven't seen it, Blue Man Group is a series of comedic musical vignettes as performed by three blue men, seemingly from another world. With some occasional assistance from an audience member, the men dance, drum and make expressionless merriment over the course of the evening.

I was a little afraid the show I'd seen so many times might have become stale - I mean - it had been almost 20 years, how long can these jokes stay fresh? I'm happy to report that while the form of the show hasn't changed and many of the skits are the same, they've peppered the performance with timely updates and scenarios.

What was once a projected image is now an enormous hi-def screen. What was once huge handheld posters are now "GiPads" (their version of an extra large iPad). And while I was skeptical at first and knew what was coming, there was nothing to stop me from standing up at the end for the ridiculous 80s nightclub dance party complete with miles of crepe paper and eight 10' light-up beach balls being bounced across the audience.

Blue Man Group continues to thrive now more than 20 years later. If you haven't seen the show, and I don't say this often, I will guarantee you'll have an incredible time. It's not life-changing. It's not high drama. It's an incredible party with some of the best beats in town.

Blue Man Group plays through Sunday, May 11th at the National Theatre 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC 20004, for tickets visit http://thenationaldc.org/events/blue-man-group/

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Jamie McGonnigal Jamie McGonnigal has produced and/or directed more than 200 Broadway concerts and events including Children of Eden (NYC Premiere), Pippin with Rosie O'Donnell and Ben Vereen, The Secret Garden with Laura Benanti, Will Chase and Steve Pasquale, Rags starring Lainie Kazan and Carolee Carmello, Snoopy with Sutton Foster, Christian Borle and Hunter Foster, The Embrace Concerts benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Broadway Loves the 80s at Joe's Pub and The Nightlife Awards with Chita Rivera, Betty Buckley and Mike Nichols. As a voice actor, Jamie can be heard on dozens of cartoons and video games including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Viva Pinata. Following a summer in Namibia and South Africa helping lead the UN's HERO campaign with rural AIDS affected communities, he returned to begin work on social justice campaigns. Having launched the LGBT blog TalkAboutEquality.com, Jamie now lives in Washington D.C. and is the Community Director for the New Organizing Institute. Jamie is a frequent contributor to HuffingtonPost and can also be heard frequently on SiriusXM's The Agenda on Progress 127 speaking about progressive issues in the media.


 
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