Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

October 27, 2010

Blue Man Group

The Bushnell, Hartford, CT
through October 31, 2010
by R.E. Smith

"Ready, go!"  As those words flash across an LCD message board, the Bushnell theatre roars to life as the Blue Man Group takes the stage and transports the audience to a world of wonder.  Rock concert, pantomime, performance art, silent movie, percussion showcase, visual pun; a performance by BMG is all these things and more.

It is safe to say that the Bushnell has never seen anything like the Blue Man Group before.  Using old and new material and rebuilding it for traditional Broadway style houses, the BMG has taken the group experience and made it intimate.  There are new sequences that jab at our multi-tasking culture as well as famous segments featuring black lights, splashing paint and drums.

Who or what the BMG are/is can be left open to individual debate.  Lost tribe?  Alien race?  Mutants from the future?  The missing link?  In the end it really doesn't matter; these silent, bald, and blue beings are incredibly talented.  Lights flash, drums pound, plumbing becomes musical instruments, music becomes something you can see and feel.
Perhaps the show's reputation has made people worried that the show is too "out there" for their taste.  But this presentation appeals to young and old, as was evidenced by the make-up of the audience at opening night.  Grandfathers and children were clamoring for the opportunity to participate.  Who hasn't wanted to play with 10 ft round glowing beach balls, or dance to a song devoted to the human posterior?

The show is playful, intelligent, and good fun.  Whether catching gumballs in their mouths, or creating beats with Captain Crunch, the BMG explores the environment with child-like intensity.  The result is a permanent smile on the face of every audience member.

Any devotee of theatre, music, and/or physical comedy needs to see this show.  Anyone who needs to smile, laugh, or lose themselves for a while needs to see this show.  Theatergoers leave the theatre energized and never looking at a Twinkie the same way again.