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Blue Man Group Rocks Durham

Blue Man Group, now playing at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Sunday, is a high-intensity, full- immersion theatrical spectacle. Part performance art, part concert, Blue Man Group totally rocked downtown Durham for 90 solid minutes of laugh-out-loud commentary on modern life and modern art. Blue Man Group might not be for the faint of heart. There's no real story, the music is loud and thumping, and there's a good deal of audience participation. Don't let the plastic ponchos up front scare you off though. Blue Man Group is a guaranteed good time from hysterical start to dance party finish.


Full disclosure, I worked for Blue Man Group - Boston for almost eight years in the early 90's. If anything, I thought the experience of seeing the show night after night might have made me jaded to this new theatrical tour. I assumed I'd see mostly old material rehashed for a larger space. I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, there were some classic bits from previous incarnations of Blue Man Group, and the music is generally the same, but the show has been updated to incorporate commentary on our current plugged-in lifestyles, including three massive iPhones that seem to have lives of their own. There's even a great Lady Gaga reference and an opening sequence about texting.


I also thought that the laughs would fall flat in a venue as large as DPAC, and more importantly, the tribal spirit of the show would be lost in such a vast space. So much of what makes Blue Man Group work theatrically are the expressions on the bald and blue faces of the actors. I'm not sure how people in the upper balconies felt, but from my vantage point in the orchestra, I was able to see and experience everything in great detail. Huge screens with projections helped make this possible.

So what is Blue Man Group? Well, honestly, it's better to just go and find out for yourself, but for the sake of those few who might not know, Blue Man Group is a one-of-a-kind performance art piece that was started by a group of New York artists in the late 80's. There are now shows in Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, NYC and more. The show consists of three bald, blue "men" who never speak. They are backed by a rocking band and a few mysterious voiceovers. The Blue Men are innocent and are therefore fascinated with everyday objects such as PVS pipe, Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. They also seem to know a lot about technology and art. Most importantly, the Blue Men know how to throw a party!

Does that description make any sense? No? Well, don't worry about it. If you've never experienced Blue Man Group, you must go immediately. If you've already seen Blue Man Group, it's time to go again. Blue Man Group is the best time you'll have in Durham all year!



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From This Author - Shane Hudson

Shane D. Hudson, currently the Assistant Director of Development for PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC, relocated to Durham after 14 years as an (read more...)