Coloring the World Blue: A Review of Blue Man Group’s Show

Blue Man Group closing out the show./Jaida Dent

By Jaida Dent


   If you want suggestions on an entertaining show to attend in New York City, the last thing you may want to hear is a group of three men dawning blue paint, playing rock music, and shoving an unhealthy amount of marshmallows in their mouths. Yet, something about this peculiar and almost unexplainable show continues to draw audiences through its doors. Blue Man Group is an exciting show and stands in a league of its own compared to other productions in New York City and around the world. 

   The show combines art, technology, and music into a single show that keeps the audience on their toes. Its foundations date back to the late 1980s, when a public demonstration in Manhattan of several blue people proclaiming “The 80s are over” was featured on MTV. This group of blue men was found to be the brainchild of Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, and Phil Stanton. This “funeral” was born out of the trio’s disappointment with the decade. The goal of that demonstration and the group as a whole is to bring forth new creativity that was represented in the media at that time. 

   The production has now become synonymous with its over three-decade residency at Astor Place Theatre, but also holds shows in Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas. While the show utilizes intense strobe lights and heavy music, they will offer a sensory-friendly show in October to accommodate individuals who may not be available to attend a normal viewing. 

   The show always features a group of three blue men who never actually speak during the show. They remain mute and utilize their facial expressions and body language to convey what is occurring in the scene. The non-verbal communication conducted by the blue men is a great aspect of this show because it makes the audience constantly rethink what is happening and what they should take away. 

   For what the show lacks in dialogue, it makes up for it with incredible audience interaction. The blue men often have intense eye contact with the audience, especially when the crowd laughs at what they are seeing. These looks often convey confusion as they are not only shocked by the audience but also by the props they are using on stage. For instance, the men had unknowingly placed an online order with facial recognition and tried Captain Crunch for the first time. You can tell that the technology was something that they never encountered, evident on their faces.

   Crowd participation was another highlight of the show. Being in Astor Place Theatre creates a sense of intimacy between the performers and the audience. In larger productions, you would see the performers casually stepping into the crowd. Yet here, the Blue Men actually climbed through the audience members’ seats and the balcony to be one with the audience. They also searched the audience and chose participants to be a part of the act. 

   The first audience member they brought to the stage joined the trio for a meal of Twinkies. The participants wore vests that had holes in it where Twinkie “mush” came out and flooded the table. The blue men were shocked by this and began to consume it, much to the crowd’s shock. The participant was rewarded with a Chinese takeout container of Twinkie goo.

   The second audience member was given a yellow painter’s suit and face guard to protect themselves from being sprayed with paint. They were placed on a large canvas and used as a human outline as the blue men created art with a flurry of colors. 

   Aside from all of these components, another highlight of the show was the music. The blue men were constantly playing drums to a rock beat accompanied by a live band that played throughout the show. At several points, they covered the drums in liquid paint which created a beautiful vision of colors as they played. They also used PVC pipes as a drum and with a variety of different movements would create various sounds using the same material.

   In addition to the music and visuals, the effortless comedy brings it all together. If you arrive at the show late, the blue men will stop what they are doing and stare at you as a man sings a song calling you out for being late. A cameraman also comes out to record you and displays it on the screen for the crowd to see. 

    This is a show that you need to see at least once. Not only because it is an unusual and mesmerizing experience, but it is ultimately thought-provoking. There are no expectations you could have coming into the show, and if you did have one, it would be shattered by the time you left. As a viewer, you’re left with questions about what you just saw, but you’re still satisfied with your experience. This show is entertaining, mind-bending, and completely worth seeing. 


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