REVIEW: Blue Man Group (The Civic)

Review by Sharu Delilkan

Blue Man Group

[Blue my Mind]

Described as a comical musical & artistic show featuring lots of audience interaction with a blue-painted cast, Blue Man Group definitely do what they say on the tin.

Besides seeing a very short YouTube clip about the show I made a big effort not to watch anything in advance so as not to raise expectations.  But in retrospect I don’t think that would’ve made a difference.  Blue Man Group’s simple yet effective concept of three core cast members miming to music and clowning around definitely offers a new unique perspective which is riddled with playfulness.

As well as blue, a multitude of other colours added to the hues and humour of this totally clever performance style.  Not being able to classify the genre of the production or tick any specific boxes is one of its selling points. This is a show that appeals to all demographics, especially those looking for family entertainment.

It’s not surprising to learn that the three men featured in the show, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, are best friends.  The dynamic chemistry between them allows them to play around with each other and the audience in an absolutely fearless manner.

Blue Man Group is a show that people will definitely consider revisiting because the nature of its format guarantees a very different show every night, which is highly dependent on audience reaction and individual crowd participation.

For me the biggest appeal was being able to suspend our disbelief and be transported to our childhood days where innocence prevailed.  It was a re-connection with my inner child, to re-experience mischievousness that will definitely remain an indelible memory in my psyche.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the amazing special effect from Bill Schwatz, phenomenal video design by Caryl Glaab’s video design and dramatic lighting design by Kevin Adams.  These effects boasting a visual spectacle were perfectly complemented by the musical collaborators Chris Dyas, Larry Heinemann, Ian Pai, Todd Perlmutter and Jeff Turlik led by astute musical directors Byron Estep and Steve Ballstadt.

Blue Man Group’s ability to keep the audience thoroughly transfixed and entertained throughout their 90-minute production is absolutely fantastic.  And this is even more impressive since Blue Man Group is performed with no spoken language, relying on an LED board, the occasional pre-recorded voice instructions, and mime to live music.

I’d highly recommend Blue Man Group to anyone and everyone – it has a unique ability to cut across all ages, cultures and languages.  You are bound to have an awesomely entertaining night out with a guaranteed reprieve from reality as we know it.

Presented by New Zealand by Blue Man Productions Ltd, and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Ltd BLUE MAN GROUP plays at The Civic until 5 June.  Details see Auckland Live 

SEE ALSO: review by Jan Maree

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