Blue Man Group: Clownin’ Around Downtown
The Blue Man Group finally arrives in Christchurch as a fully-fledged international entertainment phenomenon; with permanent shows running in several cities and multiple touring groups on the go most of the time, there’s blue men all over the place. With three of the curious, almost alien-like bald blue fellows currently holed up in the Theatre Royal until the 3rd of July, the city now has the chance to see the rather indescribable show that has wowed crowds all over the world.
The Blue Man Group experience is a mixture of energetic percussion on unusual instruments, technical wizardry, audience participation, silent comedy and circus-like tricks. At the heart of it all are the multi-talented performers that are the blue men themselves, mute but wonderfully expressive, and each able to get a reaction out of a packed Theatre Royal with a turn of the head or a raised eyebrow. Their skill set ranges from furious synchronised drumming that can’t help but set toes to tapping to catching marshmallows thrown across the stage with their mouths. Backed by a glow-in-the-dark band that keeps things rocking along, they cavort from creating artworks live on stage with unusual methods into exploring the apps on three giant cellphones and busting out catchy tunes played on plumbing hardware. And that's just some of it!
With countless thousands hours of entertaining under their belts and backed by a clearly experienced stage crew, the Blue Man Group offers an incredibly slick performance – backed by an awesome array of technology and staging tricks – that appears virtually seamless, with everything polished to a high (blue) sheen. The timing alone on some of their bits must have taken mind-boggling amounts of practice to perfect, and such is the slickness with which they integrate the live show with pre-recorded elements that even if you notice there’s a bit of clever trickery going on, you probably won’t care. By the time the LED body suits come out, the audience is already grooving along and ready to do just about anything that they’re asked. It's a weird and rapidly oscillating mix of sophistication and simplicity, but somehow it all works.
It wouldn’t be fair to spoil everything that happens during the show, as some of it really has to be experienced in person. Suffice it to say that we haven’t seen anything quite like the Blue Man Group in Christchurch before, and fans of music, comedy, theatre – or really, just having fun – need to get into the Theatre Royal to catch one of their shows before they take their infectious exuberance back on the road.
The Blue Man Group
Isaac Theatre Royal until July 3rd, times vary
Tickets from Ticketek