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Published: Wednesday, 12/5/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Blue Man Group's sumptuous show at Stranahan is fast-paced but family-friendly

BY ROD LOCKWOOD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Here are just a few of the things you’ll see at the visually sumptuous Blue Man Group show at the Stranahan Theater:

The most awkward dinner party imaginable.

Human beings turned into paint brushes.

Sight gags, slapstick, food fights, thoughtful commentary on technology and its role in our lives, and men tossing what appear to be marshmallows in each other’s mouths.

Tuesday performance at the nearly sold-out hall was immensely entertaining. While the group that originated out of New York in 1987 is freighted with fairly high-minded ideas about science, spirituality, and information overload, the Blue Men come across as three odd-but-fun shaman from another planet.

With just their faces and bodies to convey thought and emotion — The Blue Men do not speak — and armed with an array of percussion instruments, the actors were spot-on, improvising and carrying out set pieces with skill and grace.

The 90-minute show, which continues through Sunday, is fast-paced and family-friendly.

Using creative lighting and screens, an electronic billboard, and rock music from a band perched above the stage on scaffolding, the production unfolds at a pace that’s never overwhelming. The group incorporates elements of Blue Man Group shows into what’s a “greatest hits”-type presentation.

Audience participation was important as the Blue Men wandered into the crowd. There is nothing quite like a 6-foot Blue Man climbing over your seat. Up close they are all roughly the same size, solidly built, and athletic. They have a compelling air of innocence and alien as they stare into the audience and creep around.

At one point, they pulled a woman on stage for a piece that involved sitting down at a table and eating Twinkie Lights with knives and forks. The woman looked terrified, but she played along as the eating devolved into Blue Men spewing what appeared to be custard out of their chests and gobbling it up. At another point, they took a camera into the audience and shoved it down a man’s throat, giving everyone a closeup of his larynx and whatever else is in a person’s mouth.

‘Blue Man Group’ will be at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., today, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Shows Saturday and Sunday will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets range from $28 to $63 and are available at the Stranahan box office, by calling 419-381-8851 or online at www.stranahantheater.com.

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.



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