Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Chase the Blues 

Blue Man Group is a raucous load of fun

"It is filled with energy ... seething excitations ... no organization." Those are some of the ways Sigmund Freud once described the id, but it's also an apt description of any Blue Man Group performance.

Created and directed by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink, and now enjoying a two-week run at Playhouse Square, Blue Man Group has been around since the early 1990s, playing continually in New York, Vegas, and other cities around the world. But this is its first visit to Cleveland, and it's without a doubt unique. If you relax and allow that anarchic pre-teen lurking inside you to come out, you'll have an unqualified blast.

Performed to a virtually constant drumbeat so intense it makes your internal organs vibrate, the show is a collection of rock-inspired exercises in visual overload and inventive tomfoolery. The three performers (who remain somewhat anonymous since there are seven rotating Blue Men in the cast who might be onstage) are blue from the neck up, and are clad in identical nondescript outfits with blue gloves. They never register a recognizable emotion, curiously exploring their environment and keeping their poker faces impassive throughout.

But their actions resemble nothing so much as what a trio of enterprising four-year-olds would do if the baby-sitter slipped into a coma for about 90 minutes. Paint is poured on drums so the pounding creates colorful splash-clouds. One Blue Man throws paintballs to another, who catches them in his mouth and then sprays it onto a canvas. The third catches marshmallows until his cheeks bulge and he spits out a sculpture, on which he immediately puts a price tag.

The three guys pound on everything in sight: a large vibe set that appears to be connected with a replica of someone's lower intestines, and PVC pipes that slide together and apart to create different tones. The program notes suggest this percussion could be drawn from the sound of a mother's heartbeat as heard from the womb. If that's true, then Mom was bombing shots of adrenal fluid into Mountain Dew 40-ouncers. This is some hard-ass freakin' drumming.

The most transformative moment comes in "the ultimate dance party," during which large illuminated fabric balls are bounced throughout the audience while toilet paper streamers are shot up into the balcony. If that doesn't get you smiling, then your nervous system has been disconnected. Of course, there is no way words can describe the effect of the Blue Man Group. It has to be seen and felt. You may not want to go back again, but one visit with these drum-addicted dudes would seem mandatory.

Send feedback to scene@clevescene.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation