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Review: BLUE MAN GROUP- at Providence Performing Arts Center

Now on tour.

Review: BLUE MAN GROUP- at Providence Performing Arts Center

Packing in a load of humor, music, spontaneity and spectacular staging, Blue Man Group has been a phenomenon for nearly 35 years for a reason and it won't take long to realize why.

Starting in the spring of 1988 where eight men painted blue carried a coffin into Central Park to celebrate the "funeral for the 80's" featuring things like a yuppie tracksuit, Rambo doll, Reagan paraphernalia and more, the Blue Man Group have been a creative force since then. Eventually cutting their number to a much-simpler three, Blue Man Group have captivated audiences with their skits featuring drumming with paint, playing music off various pipes, catapulting items into the audience (the first few rows STILL wear raincoats to save themselves from stray paint) and even a number of audience participation routines that has everyone clamoring to be involved. One scene had a man over 60 plucked from the crowd and handed a shield and asked to hold it up while they toss painted water balloons at him from a giant slingshot; another skit found a random man and woman, who were forced to sit down and carry on an impromptu phone conversation with each other through a toy telephone, subsequently hand-cuffed and dressed to become a bride and groom and pushed back into the crowd; a third lady was summoned to help two of the Blue Men synchronize the squeak sounds coming from a rubber chicken. All different, all wonderful as their new niche phrase portrays "Same Blue, the Rest is New".

Celebrating a triumphant return to PPAC for this weekend only, their signature drumming, quirky comedy skits and colorfully creative moments struck a chord with the audience of all ages from young kids to those well into their twilight years. Kids were aplenty and well engrossed in the music and sounds that captivated us all. The Blue Men's expressions are what is key to their comedy. While they never utter a word, their faces portray what they are thinking and its usually downright hilarious, from swiping the phones away from the random couple when the conversation got boring to catching more than a dozen white gumdrops in their mouth when you think they couldn't fit a single one more.

With this performance, I brought my 14-year-old daughter, who barely wanted to go in the first place as most of this generation enjoy the word "no" more than any other, but Blue Man Group was able to grab her from the start, entertain thoroughly and make laugh throughout and it had the same effect on most others as well. With only a 80-minute performance without an intermission, Blue Man Group is a color and musical rush, an incredibly funny montage of sight and of sound which features a two-string band of drummer and guitarist to complement the Blue Men's drumming and pipe playing. It really doesn't matter if you've seen this before (I brought my two sons to separate performances over the years that had little to do with this performance) or seeing it for the first time, Blue Man Group finds a way to entertain without even trying all that much. It's kind of like combining a concert with a comedy improve skit using amazingly vibrant colors and sounds and to be honest, there's not much better than that. There is a reason Blue Man Group has been growing strong all these years and there is nothing to indicate it will be stopping anytime soon. We need this kind of comedy and creativity now more than ever and this threesome delivers and that and so much more.

Per PPAC's updated policies, face coverings are welcome but not required nor are proof of vaccination or COVID testing.

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From This Author - Jay Pateakos

Jay Pateakos has been a newspaper journalist since the late 1990’s, branching off into theatre reviews more than 10 years ago, reviewing more than a hundred plays for the Herald News and Cape Cod Times... (read more about this author)

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