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Despite its ubiquity, the Blue Man Group retains a certain mystery, which is part of its appeal. It's almost impossible to describe "Tubes" in a few sentences.

Jason Zinoman, New York Times

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BWW Reviews: BLUE MAN GROUP at Providence Performing Arts Center

Beginning with performances in New York City in 1991, Blue Man Group has since transformed into an international household name. The multimedia company now spans four continents, including permanent performances in seven cities and at sea, in their headlining performance on Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic. Over seventeen million people around the world have experienced a Blue Man Group performance. Although the ten gallons of blue paint and thirty-six bald caps used weekly may fool audiences into thinking they are all seeing the same three Blue Men, there are about ninety performers worldwide.

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik.

Most audiences might think they know what to expect going into a Blue Man Group show after seeing their countless television appearances, cameos in commercials, or maybe even after experiencing a past performance. These audiences are probably right, to a point. The ­­classic musicality of the Blue Man Group stands the test of time. Neon paint flying from drums, musical PVC pipes, the stoic expression and nonexistent verbal conversation are all integral aspects of the show which are to be expected, but not disregarded as tiresome.

Audience participation is most likely a variable which changes the show slightly from one performance to the next. In this performance, the first hilarious moment came when a couple of latecomers were embarrassed for their tardiness and a live recording of their entrance was shown on stage. Luckily, they were good sports about it. Later on in the show, a young woman was brought on stage to sit down to a makeshift dinner table with the Blue Men. Several props and jokes later, the gourmet meal of choice was revealed: Twinkies. Another young man was brought on stage and quickly dressed in white coveralls and a helmet that resembled those worn by Daft Punk last year. He was brought backstage, and we were made to believe he was drenched in neon paint and his body was used to make a large-scale piece of artwork, which he later carried off the stage and out of the theater.

While younger members of the audience were brought into this specific performance, the show is not geared towards any one demographic. It instead employs universally understood and appreciated forms of physical comedy and musicality which entertain audience members of all ages and backgrounds. However, this is not to say that the sense of humor is not highbrow. The current show has clearly been updated recently to include technological props mimicking our beloved tablets and smart phones. A genius form of satirical social commentary plays upon the idea of today's altered forms of communication and conversation. Before the show even starts, audiences are told in multiple nonsensical ways to turn off our phones and pay attention. The message is clear: put the screen away and enjoy what's going on around you.

The comedic and technological elements of the show are truly impressive, but not to be overshadowed are the musical talents of the Blue Man Group themselves and their band, who appear to be covered in neon tribal paint in boxes floating above the stage. The musical segments of the performance include specific audience instructions for hand gestures and dance moves, and by the end of the biggest musical number the entire audience was up on their feet clapping and dancing along. Several huge, colorfully lit, lightweight balls flew off the stage and out into the theater where audience members were encouraged to send them up and around like beach balls. Confetti, streamers and even toilet paper were shot out into the audience and strewn wildly through the air. Here, and throughout the show, the theater was transformed with truly impressive strobe lights and colorful images on the screens on stage. This segment quickly turned into a pretty awesome party, and when the lights go dim and the music quiets down, it's sad to feel the show coming to an end. The Blue Man Group is apparently hyperaware that this feeling comes too soon, and a screen appeared on stage instructing audiences to clap for an encore. The finale sends the show out with a bang, quite literally, as the Blue Men Group brought back their three drums and their splashing neon paint audiences worldwide have come to know and love.

A spectacularly multidimensional entertainment experience, the Blue Man Group are not slowing down any time soon. The current tour is at PPAC through March 8th and continues across the nation until May, but permanent performances can be seen in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, Berlin and at sea on the Norwegian Epic year-round.

Article reprinted with permission from

What You Say

2 reviews, average rating: (4.8 Stars)

PewterMom: “Blue Me Away”

I have taken my children, 13 year old son, 11 year old daughter to Blue Man... more

V Cross: “Loved It!”

Went to the show last week with a group of eighty high school students. Di... more

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