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Blue Man: something for everyone

November 17, 2011|By Heather Youmans, Special to The Pilot

Blue Man has a bit of something for everyone, from the avid intellectual thinker to adrenaline junkies.

Blue Man Group Theatrical Tour, which runs through Sunday at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, is known for celebrating universal human truths in a thrilling concert atmosphere that combines music, comedy and multimedia theatrics.

Upon entering the auditorium on opening night, an undeniable anticipation emanated from the crowd, who expected a notorious splash of spectacle. All at once, the enthusiastic chatter faded to a hush and one lone Blue Man appeared on stage becoming two, and then three.

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At last, the united trio stood together, and in perfect unison they beat drums in beautifully choreographed motion. And with each strike, glow in the dark paint shot through the air in an avant-garde manifestation of visual art. Soon enough, the thunderous sound of drumming filled the theater and the audience, clearly in a frenzy, roared with delight.

To be completely honest, I was curious if I had just been initiated into some sort of cult.

Unquestionably, Blue Man Group has developed a colossal following since its opening at New York City's Astor Palace Theater in 1991. Now, 20 years later, more than 17 million people have seen its shows in 12 cities across the globe. Cult or not, it is clear that Blue Man enthusiasts are drawn to the show's strange nature.

The Blue Man is a peculiar creature, almost alien-like, even futuristic. But, behind the bizarre blue face paint lies a deeper meaning: After everything is stripped down, we are left with the purest, most vulnerable humanity, thus allowing audiences to reconnect with their own sense of discovery of human nature.

So this mysterious Blue Man world is similar to our own. In fact, the only factor that makes him mysterious to us is the absence of verbal communication. Without the spoken word, some facial expressions could not be interpreted. As the blue men looked out into the audience with wide eyes, the audience grew uncomfortable. But soon after, this discomfort turned into fascination.

Under the insightful direction of Marcus Miller and Blue Man Group, the performers had to get inside the ultimate character, human beings –– a difficult task even for the bona fide actors portraying the blue men.

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