Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Blue Man Group

Who farted?
 Do you have that one piece of media that you would like to check out, but never seem to get around to it? Like, you’re scrolling through Netflix, and there’s that one movie that you’re interested in checking out, but not this time. Or the next time, or the time after that. It’s always there, and you’re interested, but not interested enough to dive in at the moment. That, my friends, is how Blue Man Group was for me until recently.

I’ve known who the Blue Man Group was for over 20 years now. I remember there was an Intel Pentium TV commercial that they starred in, and a little Googling tells me that was in the year 2000.  Sometime after that, I borrowed their album - yes, they have albums - from a friend, because I really liked the unique sound they had. And when I took my very first grownup trip to Vegas in 2002, I stayed at the Luxor, where BMG has had their Las Vegas home off and on since the year 2000.

Men beat their 'bone, live on stage!
I’ve never been one to mince words in my reviews, so I’ll say up front that I liked Blue Man Group. But I’m having a hard time describing Blue Man Group.  I left the theater thinking, “I don’t know what the fuck I just saw, but I’m pretty sure I liked it.” Kind of like a donkey show in Tijuana, but a little more family friendly.

So the Blue Man Group itself goes all the way back to 1987. Created as a sort of performance art by three friends in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the group started with street performances which gradually grew to full on stage productions.  People in New York like weird artsy shit.  Gradually it became a phenomenon, with worldwide tours, 3 albums, and more blue latex than any person should have access to. The Blue Man Group brand was sold to Cirque du Soliel in 2017, another Vegas mainstay.

So what the hell is it? The show is kind of a techo-surreal experience.  Three Blue Men guide the audience through various experiences, like making music, art, and marshmallow tossing.  Without spoken words, the show manages to explore themes of science and technology, information overload, and cultural norms.  The characters have a sort of naive curiosity in their behavior. It can come across as mime-like in its execution, but there’s more to it than that. The characters seem like visitors from another world, and their experiments and explorations address our assumptions about the world around us.


Imagine colored paint leaking out of a member’s chest hole onto an under-lit drum that flashes brightly when struck, showing colored drops of paint splattering through the air. If you are thinking that this seems weird as fuck, you’re right, but there’s a sort of mystical coolness about this when BMG does it on stage.  Watch as they play wild instruments custom made from PVC pipe and create songs that are absolute bangers.They play songs that the group has created themselves, along with well-known classics like Beethoven’s Fur Elise, pop songs like Bad Romance, and even tease a little Freebird.

Audience Fuckery Factor:
Minimal, but they do go out in the audience looking for volunteers. They look for people raising hands, so don’t raise your hand if you don’t want to go onstage.
And just like a trip to Sea World, avoid the first several rows if you don’t want to get splashed.  I think they hand out plastic rain ponchos, because I saw several people with them.

The show plays with light (you may be blinded by the lights during the show) and sound (I highly recommend ear plugs).

This could be you!

The theater is nice. It has a capacity of 830 people. There is a low slope on the house floor, so you may have people blocking your view.  I recommend row AA if you don’t want anyone directly in front of you, but you also don’t want to be splashed or singled out.

Shows are 2 - 3 times /day everyday of the week.  Tickets start at $49.  This is a great value show.  I also think it works well as a family show, or show to take the in-laws to when they decide they want to join in Vegas because you’re always going there.

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