A study in Blue: Blue Man Group in Las Vegas

This last summer my husband and I, along with our two oldest children, accompanied my Dad and his wife to Las Vegas for a long weekend.  My baby brother (Ok, he is almost 30) and his fiancé also came with us.

I’m going to be honest: Vegas is not really my cup of tea.  Everything is a huge imitation of real things.  There’s a fake Venice, New York–even pyramids.  Even what passes for “love” in Vegas is more akin to lust than anything else.

That said, Vegas is a fabulous place to go for great restaurants, service, affordable accommodations, and SHOWS.  During our three day stay, I saw four wonderful shows.  In fact, that is why we really vacationed in Vegas.  Besides the amazing condo we stayed in (the Vdara, as leeches to my Dad’s travel club), and the fact that we were with people who we not only love but are great company to boot, we went for the shows.

Originally we had only planned on three shows.  We paid for those shows months in advance.  But my brother and his fiancé wanted to try Blue Man group, so we drove them down to the Venetian. You know, taxi service.  But once we saw they got student “Rush Tickets” on the front row for $50 each, we spontaneously bought tickets too.

Promo poster from Venetian

Did you hear that?  If you have a student ID, or someone in your party has a student ID, you can get same day tickets for a fraction of the cost.  My husband is still working on his dissertation, so he had a student pass.

The caveat: the seats they sell last are in the “poncho zone.”  We had to acknowledge that we might get splattered with food, liquid, paint, and who knows what else.  I’ll admit it, we were afraid.  But we were in Vegas, being spontaneous!  Ponchos, we were told, will be provided for us.

Scary.  I am not really of the food splattering crowd.  Ick.

So it was with great anticipation that we headed to the Venetian for the 10:00 pm show.  I didn’t really know anything about Blue Man Group, and I anticipated having to throw away all my clothes afterwards.

Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

LITTLE KNOWN SECRET: the poncho zone is no big deal.  Seriously.  And they are by far the best seats in the house.  Front row!!! My daughter got a splooge of banana on her shoe.  I remained blissfully and completely clean.  I had to wear a poncho, but who cares?

So, now that I have waylaid your fears of the poncho zone, I can tell you a bit about the show.

I must say that I really enjoyed it.  The show was thought-provoking, often beautiful, and hilarious.  The Blue Man Group are called such because the men in the show are completely blue (duh, right???). They also don’t say anything during the show.  They are silent the entire time.  They communicate through traditional miming gestures and their eyes which look huge in their blue faces.

It is really difficult to describe their show.  It is part music, part art, part science, part philosophy, and 100% hilarious.  They create art on the spot, but at the same time, they make statements about the modern art world.  For instance, they project paintballs with slingshots into each other’s mouths, and then spray the paint from their mouth onto canvases.  Then they label the canvas with an exorbitant price tag. They make music as well–but all on PVC pipes.  At the end of the show, the entire auditorium becomes a huge piece of art.  Even the audience becomes the art.

The influences I saw in the show were vast and varied.  The modern art creations reminded me most of the environment art done by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, or even this Saran wrap sculpture I saw in Florence.  The music was mostly percussion, but was obviously inspired by Minimalist composers like  Phillip Glass and  Steve Reich.  The questions that were posed reminded me of Brecht’s ideas of Epic Theater.  Overall, they must be able to trace their heritage to performing artists like Laurie Anderson.

Blue Man Group playing their pipe instruments

I loved it.  I would take my entire family again in a heartbeat.  My younger kids would have loved it.  And what is really nice is that it is a very clean, family friendly show.

Next time you have an opportunity to see this group, I would highly recommend it.  And be brave and get those poncho seats!  My sides hurt from laughing when I was done, and I still think about some of the statements on technology and our modern isolationist age.

Well done, Blue Man Group!

**Pictures are promo pictures taken from the web**

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