Blue Man Group gets a colorful makeover
By Susan Stapleton
Photography by Christopher DeVargas
You have to imagine that Blue Man Group was conceived by three guys with a penchant for plain black outfits, plumbing pipes and the color blue. Minimalist by nature, this musical show, mostly at the hands of drums made from pipes, makes audiences laugh at the wonder of these nonspeaking characters and think about the role of technology in our lives.
Now, with its recent move to the Monte Carlo, the show has gone through its first major makeover in 20 years.
Once inside, a cyclops fish wearing a rasta cap swims over the audience, up and down, up and down. The show readies with its signature LED screen calling out special guests in the audience, more of the interactivity of the show. In front, the splash zone takes up the first few rows with guests ensconced in raincoats. It took the creators of Blue Man Group two years to come up with the new bits for the show. About 20 minutes of favorites remain, such as a game of catch with marshmallows that turns into artwork and the amorous tryst with an audience member and Twinkies. Even plucking someone out of the audience to become a part of another piece of art remains in the show, only with a robotic twist as the Blue Men play the Neuronulum, a newly crafted pipe instrument worn by the performers. New touches to the 90-minute show highlight how technology and robotics have become such a big part of our lives.
Three “GiPads” drop down from the ceiling with their own apps that make the Blue Men into digitized versions of themselves. The characters slip behind these props to becoming dancing versions of themselves on the screen, sometimes in Carmen Miranda gear, complete with maracas.
Another new sketch brings a robot, a sassy silver yet sleeker version of The Jetsons’ Rosie known as Showbot, out onstage to clean up a mess. The scene looks at how technology intertwines in human life, even showing an ATM that automatically vacuums money into a slot machine, a nod to the Vegas way.
Yet another new scene shows how the human brain works with the Blue Men playing a massive brain drum that lights up giant balls hanging over the audience. The light flows out from the drum to show neural responses from the brain. That segues into a scene with neon-illuminated stickmen having a text conversation that complains about human interaction. Video screen emoticons then come to life to play drum machines.
Perhaps the most exhilarating piece of the show comes at the end when the Blue Men play huge drums that emit smoke rings into the crowd. This turns into a massive party replete with huge beach balls where guests are asked to stand up and “Shake Their Euphemism,” showcasing every word for derriere imaginable.
In other words, everyone has a reason to return to Blue Man Group.
Monte Carlo, 7 p.m. Sun. & Thurs., 7 & 10 p.m. Mon.-Tues. & Fri.-Sat., $64.90-$236.50 VIP, discounts for military and children. 702.414.9000