Laughs, music ... and Twinkies
The Blue Man Group is ubiquitous in Las Vegas, more a cultural phenomenon than just another show on the Strip. Achieving that status is quite the accomplishment for any show, but what’s even more impressive is that everyone leaving the theater walks away wowed and looking forward to another dose of the whimsical, oddball antics of those three blue, bald, Twinkie-loving weirdos.
That’s the same reaction Blue Man received when it originally opened at the Luxor in 2000; the audience was astounded even though the performance art foundation of the show had been set in the early 1990s when friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton began performing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Las Vegas was not the first blue expansion, but it has been one of the most prominent. Today, more than 2 million people worldwide visit a Blue Man show each year, either in a city with a permanent installation like Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando or Las Vegas or as part of a touring production.
On the Las Vegas Strip, the show has relocated from Luxor to Venetian to Monte Carlo before settling again at Luxor in 2015 in the 820-seat Atrium Level theater surrounded by restaurants and attractions. This more intimate environment only intensifies the colorful, spectacular, unforgettable journey that resonates with visitors from all over the world communicating in any language.
Blue Man Group has always been about combining music, comedy and technology in a thoughtful, energetic way, and that hasn’t changed. The driving, tribal soundtrack, always performed live, is the engine that keeps the show running, and you really feel it when the music kicks in within this smaller space. Quieter moments offer a unique connection between the audience and performers as the silent stars react to your laughter and applause.
The humor also hasn’t changed, which is a good thing. That infamous Twinkie gag is still a fan favorite, even if it’s not as edgy as new segments that play on our dependency on mobile devices and compare us to insects following marching orders. You won’t soon forget the troupe’s custom-made percussion instruments that blow giant smoke rings, and the grand finale stretches out through several powerful segments that feel more dramatic than the Blue Man experience you might remember from years—and venues—past.
Because of its avant-garde tendencies and universal, international appeal, Blue Man Group has frequently been compared with productions from Cirque du Soleil, and in the summer of 2017 that connection was made official when Cirque acquired Blue Man Productions. The merging of these two global entertainment companies has not and will not alter what happens onstage; instead, Cirque is dedicated to expanding and diversifying its offerings around the world, and stretching Blue Man Group’s reach is now part of that mission.
Blue Man Group’s longevity in Las Vegas is a testament to the show’s ability to change just enough to keep things fresh and keep visitors coming back, even if you’ve had this fun before. And who doesn’t love Twinkies?
Luxor, 7 & 9:30 p.m. daily; additional 4 p.m. show March 25-29, $59-$115.05, $175 VIP Behind the Blue package plus tax and fee. 702.262.4400