Presented by Blue Man Productions
Created, written and directed by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, Chris Wink
Blue Men: Mike Brown, Adam Erdossy, Bryce Flint-Somerville, Kean Haunt, Dan Keilbach, Jason McLin, Eric DeLima Rubb
Musicians: Ryan Ainsworth, Kevin Asmus, Jonathan Dusoe, Kyle Harris, Oliver Hofer, Tony Irons, Alexander McGillivray, Victor McSurely, James Murphy, Darren Ray, Robb Simring, Randall Wooten
Performances are ongoing
The Charles Playhouse
74 Warrenton St
Boston, MA 02116
Duration: approximately 90 minutes.
Review by Kitty Drexel
BOSTON, Mass. — Blue Man Group has performed in Boston at the Charles Playhouse for over 25 years. In October, the show added new sketches, new music, and new videos from the creative agency Pretty Damn Sweet. The show has even updated its grand finale to appeal to new audiences.
Blue Man Group invited us to the new show on Nov. 2. Our press tickets gave us VIP access. The VIP package for ticketholders includes a bag of Blue Man goodies such as a branded water bottle, sunglasses, and lip balm. It got us a fun lanyard and ensured we could take photos with the Blue Men after the show at a meet-and-greet.
VIP upgrades grant ticket holders access to the Upstairs Lounge. The actors remained fully in character during the photo op. The middle Blue Man even signed our playbill!
The downstairs lounge is available to all attendees. It has a bar, bathrooms, vendor space, and an interactive wall. Please note: only the right side of the interactive percussion and color wall works. The left side was not functioning when we attended on Thursday.
I first saw the Blue Man Group 24 years ago as part of a welcome activity during Boston Conservatory’s freshman orientation. Coming from a small town in New Hampshire with limited exposure to the arts, I felt in awe of the Blue Man Group performance. It was so different from what I was used to, so abstract. That night’s production expanded my definition of what an immersive, audience-participatory performance could be.
Fast forward to now, Blue Man Group is just as fun, equally as silly, and creative. Our show on Thursday featured the artful percussion sequences that have made the group famous. It also included quirky sketches that explore curiosity and play. Clever video vignettes played between sets. It was everything that I remembered loving and more.
The Blue Man Group FAQ website says “performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy, and non-verbal communication.” We danced with the Blue Men, shouted as an audience, laughed cheered each other on when the Blue Men picked strangers out of the audience to join them onstage.
Sketches ranged from a dating game that taught us where little Blue Men came from, a marshmallow tossing tournament, and a Capt’n Crunch learning experience. We watched videos on the dangers of cell phone use, AI-inspired shopping, and a deep dive into the invisible, sometimes interactive plumbing system that connects us all. Between each sketch and video, the audience worked together and with the Blue Men to better understand the human experience.
Some lucky audience members were picked to join the Blue Men onstage. One of the audience participants said in an off-the-cuff conversation with me that she was asked before the show if she’d like to volunteer in a sketch. This brave soul said yes.
She said the crew gave her a brief prep talk. She knew she’d be onstage but not what she’d be doing there. I won’t reveal what happened but I will say she was involved in a Blue Man Group art project involving fluorescent paint, full-body rain gear, and a leaf blower.
Our conversation told me that she felt safe through the entire process. She knew she was supported by the cast and tech crew. After, she was cleaned up and brought back to her seat. She was not forced into participation; she enthusiastically consented to it.
She beamed as I spoke with her. We might have upgraded tickets, but this joyful lady received the real VIP experience!
We loved that the band (who rocked!) and the tech crew joined the Blue Men onstage for
bows. It takes an entire crew, band, and cast for the show to run properly from start to epic ending. They all deserved the hooting, hollering applause the audience gave them.
Blue Man Group retains its popularity because it offers a glimpse into the universal experience of human awkwardness. We’ve all felt awkward entering a new social or cultural situation at one time or another. The Blue Man Group elevates it to a group setting with bubbles and confetti. The show may have upgraded with new material, but it remains an elevated and unique theatre adventure.