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Theater Shows
Blue Man Group

A silent but oddly endearing blue trio explore the humorous and bizarre.

centerstage reviewed this performanceReviewed by Centerstage!Go Chicago!

Briar Street Theatre
3133 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614 Map This Place!Map it


Opens January 1, 2004

Friday7 & 10 p.m.
Saturday4, 7 & 10 p.m.
Sunday1, 4 & 7 p.m.
Tuesday8 p.m.
Wednesday8 p.m.
Thursday8 p.m.

reviewed performanceCenterstage Show Review
Reviewer: Dennis Mahoney
Saturday Mar 04, 2006

It's witty. It's fun. It's ever-evolving. Heck, it's even rocking. The almost lethal combination that is "Blue Man Group" has been packing the rows at the Briar Street Theater for nearly 10 years.

More performance art than traditional theater, "Blue Man Group" puts on quite a show. It's hard to single out just one 'blue man' for doing an outstanding job because the three men in cobalt blue makeup and simple black outfits essentially work as one (10 men rotate in and out of the performance-heavy schedule each week).

They are all outstanding drummers, which becomes evident time and again. At the same time, they are also clever performers doing a modern-day vaudeville act with an eye toward social comment and the state of communication. It's highly stimulating, and at times, a bit gimmicky, especially the marshmallow and paint ball tricks that open the show.

While the show is performed wordlessly, there are spoken-word videos displays mixed in with interactive moments encouraging audience participation, a bit of follow the leader, and toe tapping to the music from the day-glow painted rock band performing in a sort of roost above the stage. The fast-paced nature of the show does hit a speed bump now and again with certain sketches, but once they are out of the way, the piece zooms along at a nice clip.

The Briar Street Theater is outfitted visually like a funhouse at an amusement park. Lots of black fabric, glow-in-the-dark paint, and colored tubes hang from the rafters. Although those tubes play a role late in the show, the whole design gives one the feeling of living in that make-believe world from Terry Gilliam's 1985 film "Brazil."

This high-tech, visual work is tame enough to bring the whole family. However, the audience tends to get a bit more rowdy at the 10 p.m. weekend shows so you might want to rethink bringing kids to the late-night performance. Blue Man Group is performed without an intermission, which can get a few patrons squirming in their seats, so hit the facilities before settling in. Our advice? When attending, go along with the absurdity of the spectacle.

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