I must admit my ignorance upfront. I haven’t been paying enough attention to the arts and entertainment scene lately.
On receiving an invitation with an intriguing photograph to attend a Blue Man Group performance, I had to go into research mode. First port of call was You Tube, which revealed a high-energy, and very colourful clip, which was enough of a teaser to convince me it was a show I had to see.
This may be their first tour to South Africa, but the Blue Man Group is no flash in the pan. The concept originated 25 years ago in New York and proved so popular in the U.S, that it has permanent shows in Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago. There is also a permanent show in Berlin. It has been performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991.
The show is a combination of mime, performance art, music, movement, rock concert, humour, audience interaction and multi-media staging led by three bald and blue performers. They are enormously expressive – conveying a myriad of thoughts and emotions through their eyes and physical movement.
The use of technology and innovative, custom-made musical instruments is fascinating. The trio is supported by a live band and video cameras capturing interactions with the audience.
There is no interval, and the show leaves the audience wanting more.
The three founders are close friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton. Says Chris Wink about their tour to South Africa: “When we first began creating performances centred on this innocent, curious character called Blue Man, we never dreamt where he would lead us. We are so honoured to be able to share our show with the people of South Africa and beyond. We believe the Blue Man’s universal message of joyful exuberance and euphoric celebration resonates within all of us.”
CEO of Big Concerts, Justin Van Wyk, who brought the show to South Africa, says: “With no spoken language Blue Man Group is perfect for all ages, languages and cultures. It gives everyone the freedom to reconnect with their inner child, to re-experience mischievousness, sheer joy and to see what fun three guys can have with 30 litres of paint and 120 marshmallows in the space of an hour and a half!”
And yes, my inner child had loads of fun! Looking at the audience around me, whether they were millennials or baby boomers, they seemed to find equal joy in the experience.
For one who always wonders about how things come together and how creative expression flirts and unites with technology, I wish I could spend some time back-stage to get some insight into the process of this throroughly magical experience.
The show can be seen at the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg until 18 March, and at the Grand Arena in Cape Town from 21 to 26 March.