Opening night and the Orpheum was packed, all there to see three hairless men painted blue.
Beginning with a series of funnier and funnier and sillier and sillier electronic messages scrolling above the stage, the audience was engaged. They eagerly did whatever the messages commanded them to do, like reciting "Happy Birthday" to someone in the audience (“No singing!”). Like a warm-up comedian, the signs got the crowd laughing and clapping, before we ever saw a human being (or a blue man).
Then the three appeared, performing some acts we may have seen before on television, like making paintings with colored spit, or catching said paint balls in their mouths before painting. The blue man on the right caught a stream of them, in two sessions, so many I lost count after about a dozen. The people in the front rows wore clear raincoats in anticipation of the mess.
People were plucked from the audience to appear on stage in skits.
My favorite of the night was the young woman who sat with the three at a dining table, all facing the audience and all mirrored above so we could see the tabletop clearly. Slowly, they moved through a meal of Twinkies … well, you kinda had to be there, but it was hilarious. At one point, a blue man hands her a candle and a lighter. No sooner does she light it than another blue man whips out a fire extinguisher and puts it out. When one begins vacuuming up Twinkie wrappers, he oversteps and sucks up a piece of Twinkie, prompting another one to suck up “Christina” on the Andrew Wyeth painting hanging behind them.
Beautiful visuals filled the stage often. Expert use of hi-tech devices enhanced the show; and their send-up on tweeting was very funny and relevant.
They played unlikely musical instruments (PVC pipe?), making credible music. They flung an unsuspecting audience member, covered in blue paint, up-side-down onto a canvass (“backstage" and most likely pre-taped).
They concluded with a “rock concert,” complete with audience rules of behavior (all given by those overhead electronic signs and on-stage screens). We were bombarded with confetti and streamers and ginormous inflated glowing balls, all accompanied by strobe lights. I was happy for the ear plugs they provided on request, although I heard old-hands say this wasn’t nearly as loud as some of their shows.
And hour and a half, straight through, of laughter. All ages attended, and all seemed to enjoy it immensely. Definitely worth the price of the ticket!
Blue Man Group continues through Sunday, with matinees added on Saturday and Sunday. Limited seats are available for the weekend, so hurry!