Blue Man Goes Boom in Miami Only Through May 18
By Skip Sheffield
The Blue Man Group has been around since 1987. It embarked on its first U.S. National Tour Sept. 2, 2010, but this is the first time the innovative, whatchamacallit performing troupe has made it to South Florida. You can see their unique semi-improvised show through Sunday, May 18 at Arsht Center in Miami.
Blue Man Group defies easy description. Its three men (and the occasional woman) in anonymous blue latex bald caps are but the tip of the iceberg of a much larger company of musicians and technicians. Blue Man Group is a truly multi-media experience that blends music (heavy on the percussion), comedy, video projections and audience participation that make every show one of a kind.
The National Tour is a kind of “greatest hits” show for the troupe, which has permanent companies in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Universal Orlando and Las Vegas. The original creators of the concept are Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink.
“Thunderous” is the best way to describe Blue Man Group. They pound on all kinds of drums including a huge gong-like bass drum that sounds like a cannon. They also play weird fabricated instruments made of PVC pipe and other household items. The most ambitious instrument is a kind of PVC xylophone, which the guys play without ever glancing at the striking pads. They even take requests.
“Wonder” is the best way to describe the attitude of the anonymous, silent performers. They look at ordinary things like marshmallows or Captain Crunch cereal as if they had never seen them before, staring in bafflement before they spring into action.
The real fun comes when the Blue Men enter the audience, crawling over chairs, stroking bald heads, peering into the eyes of strangers. The Blue Men seem to have an instinct as to whom to pick and lead onstage to become part of the act. At the opening act, they chose a petite, well-dressed older lady with a bouffant hairdo who proved to be a real sport, going along with the seemingly random, ridiculous improvisations. Later they picked a good-looking younger man whom they outfitted with a helmet and jump suit and led backstage. Video cameras captured him doused with blue and magenta paint and used as a human paintbrush on a large canvas.
This is the kind of show where you really have to be there for full appreciation. I had seen the Blue Man Group on television a number of times, but it does not compare with their live show. Catch it while you can if you want to be part of a unique, really loud and hilarious experience. Be advised the first three rows are designed “poncho section” as the action can get pretty messy and splattering.
Tickets are $26 to $125. Call 800-939-8587 or go to www.miami.broadway.com.