Friday night, chaos reigned at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. Paint was splattered everywhere, food was thrown, and trash cans were banged. Yet this wasn’t a case of poorly behaved children; it was part of Blue Man Group’s national tour.
Before the show even started, the crowd was instructed to yell various phrases by a scrolling sign on stage. Right away this set the tone for a fun, light-hearted experience, and we felt encouraged to let our inner child free.
The lights went down, revealing the three famed blue men in outline. They went on to pound some paint-covered drums, splattering neon color all over the stage, themselves, and a canvas, which they went on to give to an audience member. While an energetic band played background rock music, the trio drummed, danced, and mimed their way through the show. The end result was a unique blend of rock concert, light show, comedy show, and art exhibition all wrapped into one.
The BMG have a knack for making the audience part of the show. They frequently left the stage to interact with audience members. They handed out original paintings, invited guests onstage, and even made one man into a piece of art. Many times we were directed to scream, dance, and sing, allowing us to take part in the performance.
Having been to the BMG in Boston nearly a decade ago, I was curious to see how the show compared at a larger venue. Boston’s Charles Playhouse is a much more intimate space, allowing everyone in the audience to feel involved in the show. The larger Performing Arts Center made it much more difficult for everyone to feel included. As we danced and tossed oversized beach balls in the orchestra section, we looked back and noticed that the nosebleeds just seemed to be watching the rest of the audience take part in the show.
As for the show itself, many of the overall themes and gimmicks were the same as they were years ago, giving the show a dated feel. However, references to Lady Gaga, iPads, and Viagra made it seem slightly more modern.
Blue Man Group will be in town for two more shows, and our best advice to you is to leave your adult self at the door when you arrive. To really enjoy the show, open up and be prepared to follow directions on how to rock out.