Tuesday November 21st 2017

“Blue Man Group” revisited 2017

bluemanRecommended *** The years have flown by. “Blue Man Group” remains at The Briar Street Theatre, still playing to close to packed houses. Understand, this show has been on stages since 1991, so we are over 25 years of a performance art that was just a lark. In fact, the new Blue Men, were more than likely not even born when the show first was unveiled. That is “staying power”!

What makes this show what it is? There is no language barrier, as the majority of the show is without speech. Only some brief announcements and electronic signage, which are in English are used to transmit information to the audience. Most of what we enjoy for 90 straight minutes is three men, bald and blue in brown jump suits, exploring the things they find after finding themselves in a new world!

We were asked to revisit the show for a revised review, so we took the ride down to this quaint little theater that has been thriving for lo these many years to see the changes. To be honest, the show has changed very little since we brought the grandkids back in 2015. The members of the cast have changed, I am sure, but the show is very close to that we saw two years ago. Yet, despite the repetition, it still is a FEEL GOOD experience. It is not theater, but PERFORMANCE ART, and for the people, who come from all walks of life, sitting in the audience with us, a terrific evening of entertainment. Who can ask for anything more! If you sit in the first five rows, they offer plastic ponchos to protect you from the paint and other “stuff”.

The show, created by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, with collaborators Larry Heinemann and Ian Pai (on music and art) is fun- from start to finish. 90 minutes of non-stop action. The men who are on stage; they have three, but the ensemble is made up of six: Scott Bishop, Wade Elkins, Tom Galassi, Gareth Hinsley, Eric Gebow and Callum Grant. at each performance, three go onstage and from what I am told, they alter what roles they take, keeping them fresh and alert, never getting into a rut. By the way, do not come late! If you do, they will hold you back and then bring you in with a song that “you’re late” and have you on the giant screen TV, to be seen by one and all!bmg6

As these men discover “things” and how they create sound and music, and experiment with the props, the audience watches with excitement and anticipating the things they have heard about. The marshmallows being caught and creating art from paintballs that are also tossed from one side of the stage to the other, where a Blue Man, catches it in his mouth, and then squirts it in a canvas, creating a work of modern art that an audience member gets as a souvenir. There is also the “twinkie” bit where an audience member is brought on stage to sit and dine with these men as their teacher, nanny, and the wall painting that is done with the body of another patron (where he gets a wall hanging to take home as well).

The huge rubber balls being pushed and hit during the final portion of the show has replaced the rolls of paper that came from the back of the theater to the stage in the early days. That was a mess to clean up and I know they probably missed some of the recycling opportunities. The BALLS work and truly get the audience on their feet so they can easily do a standing ovation (which these men deserve). Again, the plot is nothing to write home about, but the show was bmg9designed to be a fun experience and a new art form, and over all these years, it has. Not only in Chicago and New York, but in Vegas and other places. Wherever there are people who need a good laugh, or just need to be taken away from the stress each of us face daily, there is an opportunity to take them away from that, at least for 90 minutes with “Blue Man Group” which is in an OPEN END schedule with performances as follows:

bmg2Wednesday  8 p.m.

Thursday  8 p.m.

Friday  7 and 10 p.m.

Saturday  4 , 7   and 10 p.m.

Sunday 4 and 7 p.m.                     THESE CHANGE with the seasons, so please visit www.blueman.com

Tickets range from $69 but they do have some value seats available, which can be found at www.blueman.com

You can also call the box office at 773-348-4000

The theater is located at 3133 N. Halsted (at Briar), just a few blocks south of Wrigley Field (home of the 2016 World Champion, Chicago Cubs)

Parking is available on the street, metered or in the lot next door to the theater (cash only-$15)

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Blue Man Group”

 

NOTE: Since this is my 7th time seeing the performance art, and I know pretty much what is going to take place, my rating is not what I felt in the earlier days. I still think for newbies, this is a MUST SEE!

 

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