In a world maligned by socio-political division, our society is most definitely overzealous for something to mitigate its intermittent malaise.
Then comes Blue Man Group, an American Performance Art Company founded in 1987 who, like a fast moving storm, boldly rushes into The Charles Playhouse to strut their wildly colorful rapid fire Ritalin paced show! The company has since been purchased by the Canadian Company Cirque Du Soleil in 2017.
The show, which was surprisingly interactive, started out with the audience following the directions of a scrolling marquee. The audience was engaged in reading the words out loud which was meant to be like a warm up before the Blue Man made their blue appearance. Another thing, which stroked me as peculiar, was th
at the first three rows of people were wearing raincoats. I must admit, since I was in a suit, I experience some minor anxiety not knowing what was going to happen. All I could think of was the performance artist Gallagher smashing watermelons to wet his audience’s appetite for a meticulously planned mess. Toward the middle of the one hour and forty-five minute show, the Blue Man squirted banana juice all over the eager audience! Interpret that as you wish!
Essentially, the show had the flare of a circus with something for everyone! It was what I would call edu-tainment, a mixture of education and entertainment. At one point, it became philosophical by encouraging us to appreciate the here and now instead of worrying about what’s coming up next. Then on the other hand it was engaging when the Blue Men picked a female audience member, brought her up on stage and strapped a blue-breasted suit on her. Their comedic talents became evident when all they did for a few minutes was just sit there behind a table all aligned in a row and stared while their “victim” masquerading as their date waited patiently for the Blue boys next move. Eventually they began to interact with her by playing romantic music, setting flowers on the table and sharing their “Twinkies” (described as a finger shaped cake filled with white cream) with her. Again, interpret that as you wish! Then in a disgusting twist, the newly digested Twinkies turned into yellow liquid and began to pour out of their chests, which emanated a drone of disgust from the audience.
All in all, the Blue Men were innovative and alluring. They even parodied what they call “The new Rock ‘n Roll” band as a bunch of choreographed boy bands who eventually disband to break out into their separate “projects” when they reach their height of success as a group. In doing this, they demonstrated their versatility as performers, gyrating their limber bodies to dance music I was particularly pleased with their drumming, a sound that penetrating my pores so that the drum beats became synonymous with my own heartbeat. The finale had pounding dance music and rolls of white toilet paper falling from the ceiling in a white fluorescent light reaching a crescendo of climatic proportions! Everyone was on their feet, saturated in a creamy white glow and giggling like children during recess on the playground.
Then the Blue Men even waited in the lobby for picture opportunities and signed autographs with blue paint. The audience, a mixture of the young and the young at heart, left beaming from ear to ear. And that’s why the Blue Men are here in Boston to turn our moods from “blue” to blissful and for a brief moment, forget about our woe and foster a sense of unity and camaraderie in spite of our disparate identities.
Jacques Stanley Fleury is a Haitian-American Poet, Author and Educator. He holds an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and is currently pursuing graduate studies in the literary arts at Harvard University online. Once on the editing staff of The Watermark, a literary magazine at the University of Massachusetts, his first book Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir was featured in and endorsed by the Boston Globe. His second book: It’s Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories is a collection of short fictional stories dealing with the human condition as the characters navigate life’s foibles and was featured on Good Reads. His current book and hitherto magnum opus Chain Letter to America: The One Thing You Can Do to End Racism, A Collection of Essays, Fiction and Poetry Celebrating Multiculturalism explores xenophobia in America and is available at The Harvard Book Store, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. His CD A Lighter Shade of Blue as a lyrics writer in collaboration with the neo-folk musical group Sweet Wednesday is available on Amazon, iTunes & Spotify to benefit Haitian charity St. Boniface.
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