Theatre Review: Blue Man Group in San Diego

Imagine you’re in a room.  No, imagine you’re in an auditorium, and the auditorium is packed with people of all ages –kids, students, young adults and adult adults, all together in this space.  You look up to see 10 car-sized glowing beach balls floating up and around the crowd.  Rolls of shredded tissue paper stream overhead onto the audience, three men painted blue beat drums rhythmically on stage, an intricate light show plays on giant screens behind them and everyone is dancing.  Before you know it, you too are on your feet, jiving to the beat of drums, reaching up with both hands to tip the balls higher and higher over the hands below.

Such was my first Blue Man Group experience last Wednesday.  I have of course heard the name before, yet friends always seemed to have a hard time explaining exactly what the show was, except that it was one of those things I had to see for myself.  After having seen it for myself, I have come to the conclusion that their (lack of) explanation was true –words do not do it justice, which is perhaps why none of the Blue Men ever speak while in character.

“The [blue] man expresses aspects of everyday life that most people can relate with,” says Kalen Allmandinger, who has been performing for the Blue Man Group for over 10 years (See full interview).

The show is funny, smart, awkward, endearing and simply put –way cool.  First formed in 1987 by three friends from Manhattan, the show currently plays regularly in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, Tokyo and on tour.  Their North American Tour, brought to you by Nederlander Presentation and Broadway San Diego, stops in San Diego from Sept. 20 -25 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.  (For Tickets please visit: www.ticketmaster.com )

“Our goal with this production, as with all of our productions, is to help audience members reconnect with their own sense of discovery, with their own sense of what is possible in their lives,” said one of the original BMG founders Philip Stanton.

Indeed, viewers are left with a sense of discovery. At the end of what can only be described as a variety show, silent comedy sketch, multimedia light show and bizarre rock concert rolled into an hour and forty-five minutes of pure entertainment, the audience filed out of the theater with smiles and tissue paper trailing behind, still chattering about their favorite parts of the show.

For more information, please visit www.blueman.com or BroadwaySD.com

Photos courtesy of Ken Howard and Paul Kolnik via networksontour.com.

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