The Great Blue Yonder

Blue Man Group
Panasonic Theatre
June 17, 2005
While entering the Panasonic Theatre I had a mere recollection of what was about to take place. I had spoken with Matthew Banks from Blue Man Group earlier in the month and I was attempting to recall the shades of social commentary that he told me about.

Blue Man Group is like a roller coaster, you go in not knowing what's going to happen and come out exhilarated, but not truly knowing what hit you. The theatre was packed and there were people wearing ponchos in the first few rows. Ushers handed out white streamers to "use however you'd like", and while bumping into some old colleagues the lights went to a soft, Amazon evening glow as the drum music increased in crescendo.

Three blue men, no scripts. The mother ship had landed folks, and they came in peace. They began throwing paint balls into each other's mouths from far distances, spitting out and twirling colourful art and then these skeleton rockers on either side above stage began playing. They were dressed in florescent orange, yellow, and pink skeleton suits, and it was a rockin' Halloween all over again!

The audience interaction is another great part of what you get to experience at Blue Man Group. Whether you're wearing a poncho and having Jello, Twinkies, or washable paint hit you offstage, or just wearing some streamers, the lights, rich sound of Blue Man Group drums, and audience members being called on stage and filmed off stage make it a "3-D" experience.

A favourite was when all three Blue Men ran up the aisles to the back of the theatre and pulled rolls of thick, white streamers down over our heads and we kept pulling them over the people in front of us. While doing this, strobe lights are going off, the florescent skeletons are playing and large tubing is making braids over your head from the ceiling! It's an experience that allows you to loose your inhibition, makes you laugh at the crazy things our society asks us to do to be "cool", and breaks down barriers between stage and audience. So whether they're banging on PVC tubes, wearing TVs as heads, or having Twinkies in the provincial countryside, the random events that occur relate in our society that is based on consumption, copy-cat syndrome, and Cap N Crunch.

Writer: Lindsay Whitfield

Photo:Darbe Rotach

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