Mix two parts slapstick, two parts mime, two parts percussion, a dash of techno, a whole lotta paint and bake for 90 minutes. The result is the latest performance of Manhattan born Blue Man Group. The three bald blue-headed men took the stage promptly on Saturday for the first of four weekend shows at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.
Opening with a crazy game of catch, the center Blue Man took turns tossing what appeared to be gumballs to his partners located left and right of him. After catching it in his mouth, partner number one immediately chowed down on his ball and spit the paint laden results onto an awaiting canvas.
Meanwhile, partner number two, to his right, seemed to receive gumball after gumball, which were chewed and quickly filled his mouth to capacity. The results were regurgitated onto a platter into a volcano looking piece of artwork. Both pieces of art (?) were given to welcoming members of the audience.
One of the joys of a Blue Man show is the continual use of audience members as props in the show. One lady was dragged on stage for a twinkie meal with the group, which ended with the front row being sprayed with the whipped cream centre. Thankfully they were well informed and all dressed in clear plastic protective rain gear.
Another member of the audience was brought on stage dressed in a full body suit and motorcycle helmet. He was led backstage where video monitors showed him being dowsed in paint, hung upside down and slammed into an awaiting canvas. The result was a full body painting of his silhouette, which he was presented with after his encounter.
True to their beginnings, the show featured a crazy three-man PVC pipe percussion instrument and a pair of (what I will call) drumbas – a combination of tuba looking PVC percussion instruments. All of these were complemented by a very talented house band and the world’s largest bass drum.
There were a number of different themes throughout the night, including Science and technology, especially the topics of plumbing, eyesight, and the smart phone/internet; Innocence, when the Blue Men appear to be surprised and perplexed by audience reactions; Self-Conscious, when they attempted to stage an elegant dinner for an audience member with Twinkies; and Naïve, following a rock concert instruction manual.
The show closed with lighted beach balls and streamers raining down on the audience after which they greeted their guests for selfies in the arena concourse. In this all-ages spectacle, the Blue Man Group brought a little bit of their Las Vegas magic to Windsor, if only just for the weekend.
All photos by Brent Groh: