Blue Man Group in San Jose 2013 Tour, Comped Tickets For Honest Review…
The first time I saw the Blue Man Group was way back in the old Intel commercials. Those bright blue head and green eyes aren’t easy to forget. After all these years, I never actually had the chance to see one of their performances…until this week. Tuesday, April 2nd, was the opening night of the Blue Man Group at San Jose Center of Performing Arts, presented by Broadway San Jose. Good thing we got there early to pick up our tickets – the crowd was huge!
I figured the show would basically be about some blue-headed guys that played music on household items. Aside from that, I really had no idea what the show would be about. Now I know why…
The show itself isn’t really about anything and is an eclectic mix of genres as well. Part comedy, part rock concert, part light/graphic show, part pantomime, part talent performance, part party, and the list goes on.Certain sections will appeal (or not) to those of different audiences. The end sequence, though, will have everyone on their feet and shaking their [enter any one of the dozens of terms mentioned in the lyrics for ‘bootie’].
The Blue Man Group began with a prelude of two LED signs with scrolling text above the stage. One made serious announcements while the other one poked fun at those same announcements. This got the audience paying attention right away and chuckling ever louder. The ‘real’ show began with the three main actors playing different rhythms, accompanied by an energetic display of lights and shadows. We were also treated to a neon-clothed band in an upper level and huge digital screens.
There was a lot of pantomime and visual humor from the get-go. Each Blue Man had a different demeanor, which was quickly made evident during the skit of paint balls / marshmallows and that of the paint-filled drums. The actors did a great job of getting their characters across with subtle movements. The humor is a bit of the ‘goofy’ sort so you kind of have to be in that mood to fully appreciate the show.
To modernize the performance, I suppose, there was heavy use of iPhone- and iPad-type devices and often touched on the subject of texting. Parts of this were funny but at times it felt overdone and cliché. There were a few references to Viagra but it will likely go over any child’s head. Keep in mind that there is quite a bit of reading involved so it very young children might not really understand a good chunk of what’s going on.
Audience participation played a good portion here. From spotlighting late arrivals to dropping spit-out marshmallow towers in purses, this was not a show meant to be watched and simply entertained. No, the audience’s willingness to follow the lead of the Blue Man Group was pertinent to making certain scenes work. I was fine with this as long as they didn’t pick me, which they didn’t. Whew! There was one part that just didn’t seem to work though. The audience member did great but the whole dining skit just seemed out of place and it just seemed to drag on forever.
The music was really a treat and where Blue Man Group really does it right. The mix of rock with heavy bass was inventive and performed skillfully. I would caution parents with children that are sensitive to loud music. While the sound was at a good volume, there were definitely parts that were more powerful and that you could feel the drums rumble through your seat.
My husband and I had mixed feelings about the show. There were portions we enjoyed but some were just kind of off-the-wall. I think we both had a hard time wrapping our heads around the experience as it was just so unique. If anyone would ask us how it was, we’d probably have to say it was ‘very interesting’ and ‘pretty entertaining’.
The Blue Man Group is playful and fun. It may not be for those looking to be awed or for some artistic culture. Rather, it’s for those that want to get out and have a good time with family and friends. It’s also a chance to rock out and enjoy a show full of light, music, humor, and color. Just make sure you’re in the right mood and that you don’t think too hard.
I was provided with two tickets to the show as working press. All opinions are 100% my own.