Reviewer: Lisa Purchase Kelly
Venue: Midland Center for the Arts
The first thing you notice when you walk in to the Blue Man Group show space at the Midland Center for the Arts is the 25 foot tall walls of screens, lights and tubes blinking from the stage.
The second thing you’ll notice is the splash zone ponchos occupying the first three rows.
And these two observations tell you a lot of what you need to know about Blue Man Group.
Blue Man Group is essentially a trio of mute percussionist clowns with some very strange toys.
They wander the stage in a state of bemused discovery, like solemn and slightly uncooperative toddlers, or pensive aliens.
They play with paint balls, ping pongs, television screens, marshmallows, hoses and water balloons, a giant slingshot, rubber chickens and telephones.
The audience is also one of their toys.
They regularly invade the audience, garnering hapless volunteers, or sampling voices or rummaging through people’s belongings to create a soundtrack exclusive to this particular show.
Late-comers are recognized with their own special song.
The trio pounds on a surprising number of things to make music, including drums, PVC pipes and most of the dynamic set. If you like percussion, synthesizer and some bass that throbs in your chest cavity, you’ll enjoy this show.
In order to maximize enjoyment of the Blue Man Group, the ideal audience member must be one thing: Willing.
Willing to cheer, willing to clap when you’re not exactly sure what you’re clapping for, willing to read aloud, willing to dance, willing to sit in total darkness when the show “blows a fuse,” willing to make your own confetti, and quite possibly willing to massage your neighbor.
Among other things.
And should you be one of the lucky handful chosen to join the Blue Men onstage, you must be willing to stand there with a confused look on your face … the Blue Men don’t talk, so it takes you a while to figure out what they want from you.
The traveling company of Blue Man Group continues its run at Midland Center for the Arts Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets and information can be found at https://cart.midlandcenter.org/blueman/26699 or by calling the Box Office at (989) 631-8250
Delightfully odd performers and a game audience makes this a good 90 minutes of fun. If you’re going, don’t just sit there … make sure you join in the fun.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t be late.