Blue Man Group Entertains with Curiosity, Color, Quirkiness

Two Blue Men hold up handfuls of cereal, while the third holds up a single piece. | Cam Peters

If curiosity were personified, it would appear in the form of the quirky, cobalt beings known as the Blue Man Group. The trio kick-started their 25th year of performances at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on March 31, in a psychedelic parody resulting in laughter, dancing and raised eyebrows. Part laser show, part concert and part comedy, the group somehow managed to blend a variety of elements together and the end result is a stunning audio-visual experience.

The show’s three characters experienced the world with the wonder and confusion of aliens fresh off a spaceship, stumbling upon everyday objects in ways that reveal the oddness of items usually deemed ordinary. This was best exemplified during what can only be described as a “Last Supper on Jupiter” in which the trio discovers Jell-O, Twinkies, vacuums and boom boxes for the very first time.

Musical performances combined techno, pop punk, rock, a dash of hip-hop and everything in between. While the Blue Man Group is quite commonly associated with wild theatrics, they have released five albums since their beginning, one of which was nominated for a Grammy. The music is pulsating, captivating and electric. It invites the viewer to join its madness.

The sounds themselves were always accompanied by a tidal wave of laser-show-like hues, creating a magical, multi-sensory experience rife with peculiarity and fun. The performance tangos somewhere between the neon spunk of the 80s and the robotic industrialism of the future. The Blue Man Group definitely knows a lot about crafting visual experiences—during the show they literally taught a science lesson about “the miracle of visual perception.”

Between every musical act was a comedy bit that revealed something interesting about modern oddities; for instance, they explored setting a password on a smartphone and barraging infomercials that promise ultimate beauty. The show is advertised as family appropriate, so the comedy teeters closer to clean side—but laughter was plentiful and absurdity was ever-present.

The show is an interactive one. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, it is best to avoid the first 30 rows. The Martian-like men took to the audience with cameras in hand and stumbled through rows of seats, staring at audience members directly in the eye, even touching the faces of some individuals. All of this was live-streamed to the main screen and in an unorthodox twist, the audience shifted from the role of spectators to the role of spectated. The performance makes no sense at all, but there was a certain harmony in the chaos of the show. By the end, it became apparent that our modern society is in fact, the bizarre one.

The Blue Man Group will have two remaining performances in Seattle. Both are on Sunday—one at 1 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Tess may be reached at triski@su-spectator.com

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