Admittedly, I am a Blue Man Group addict. While vacationing in Las Vegas nearly 15 years ago, I saw an advertisement for their new show at the Luxor (they currently play at the Monte Carlo resort) and decided to take a gamble and buy a ticket. It was one of the best decisions I have made while on vacation. From the moment I walked out of the theater, I was captivated. Since then, I have also seen their permanent shows in New York, London and now here in Orlando.
Describing Blue Man Group is like trying to describe a dream you had last night to one of your best friends. No matter how descriptive you get, it’s nearly impossible to truly capture what you just saw and put it into words. Blue Man Group is an experience. In the age of 30-second sound bites, watching videos on YouTube and pictures in Instagram, people want to try to sum up experiences quickly. In this case, you need to just go try it for yourself.
So what the hell is the Blue Man Group? It’s part concert, part sketch comedy and part immersive theater. Even if you have seen amazing theater in the past like Le Reve in Las Vegas or Sleep No More in New York, I can assure you it’s nothing like BMG. Think of the blue men as aliens who have just landed on Earth. Everything that surrounds them piques their curiosity and they use the show to explore their new surroundings and meet the inhabitants of this planet: You, the audience.
Keep in mind, there IS no back story. The blue men are whatever you interpret them to be. Most importantly, they do not speak. Aside from an occasional narrator, there is barely any spoken dialogue, which is true genius. Considering Orlando has such an international crowd, this means absolutely anyone can enjoy the show regardless of language barriers.
What makes this show “art” is how ingenious it is written. Blue men seem to find music and humor in the complexities of the world that they explore. For example, one of the show’s signature pieces is where they discover a piece of PVC pipe hooked up to a microphone. They soon realize that using drumsticks on the tube turns it into a percussion instrument. After a few minutes, they connect more pipes together and they discover that when you move them around, it creates a unique musical instrument. The end result is a sketch that is part concert, part comedy and absolutely brilliant.
Recently, the show was updated to include more modern technology such as “Gi-Pads” (think of an enormous iPad) that come down from the stage. As the Blue Men explore various apps, they take small jabs at how technology has taken the place of genuine human interaction. In the end, they discover instead of playing with apps, real contact and emotions outweigh what technology can bring.
My personal favorite moment in the show is when they bring an audience member onstage to eat a Twinkie. Yes, I said that my favorite part of the show was to see an audience member eat a Twinkie. Keep in mind, to the Blue Men, Twinkies are completely foreign to them. Using absolutely no dialogue, just mime, they take a simple act like taking a Twinkie out of the wrapper, cutting it up with a knife and fork and turning it into a 15-minute comedy sketch. If you have never seen Blue Man Group, you probably think I am crazy. However, if you have seen the show you know exactly what I am talking about (testify!). I personally think it is one of the most genius comedy bits ever to be performed on a stage.
The finale of the show brings together the entire audience on their feet dancing to a song that has come up with literally hundreds of ways to say the word “butt”, gigantic puppets and enormous balls that are tossed around the theater. It may sound bizarre (and it is!), but the experience is completely euphoric and one I want to do again and again. Yes, to say that Blue Man Group is unconventional theater is putting it mildly.
After the show, stick around the lobby of the Sharp Aquos Theater because the blue men will come out for a meet and greet. Even if you don’t take your picture with them (you should!) just kick back and watch them interact with the audience members. It’s a show in itself. Also, don’t forget to have them autograph something: your ticket, an autograph book, anything. You’ll be glad you did.
I am not being paid by Universal Orlando or Blue Man Group in any way to write this review. So don’t think I have any skin in the game. However, the cost of the ticket is extremely reasonable for a show like this. Ticket prices start at $60 if you buy them directly from the Universal Orlando website, but if you take a minimal amount of time you can find discounted tickets for Florida residents, or even if you buy them in advance from Publix grocery stores. Beyond the theme parks in Orlando, there are some other fantastic experiences that you need to try here and this is at the top of my personal list. Your thoughts?