Blue Man Group | Midwest Living

Blue Man Group

Briar Street Theatre
3133 N. Halsted St.
Chicago  Illinois  60657
United States
(773) 348-4000
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Midwest Living Review

Kit Bernardi
Chicago's edgy performance arts experience, Blue Man Group's out-there, audience-participation show combines art, music, technology and hilarious social commentary.

If it's edge you're after, Blue Man Group has it. Considered Chicago's ultimate performance arts experience, Blue Man Group in 2011 retooled its audience-interactive, 105-minute show (no intermission). A new high-tech twist ramps up the core message of encouraging the making of human connections and embracing differences among peoples in our fast-paced world. Some memorable acts that made Blue Man Group a North American theater phenomena remain, including the PVC pipe percussion sets spewing paint, marshmallow mouth-molded sculptures, Captain Crunch munching, random audience member selection for the on-stage Twinkie share sketch, and body-slamming portrait painting. But new acts abound, too, when the bald blue guys encounter gigantic smartphones for the first time. Their virginal exposure to using apps as the ultimate informational resource and participating in today's thumb-driven, texting society is a strong, satiric commentary on our millisecond attention spans and perceived cyber connectedness that's cost us face-to-face conversational social skills. But the show's fun, signature dance party finale of pulsating techno music and unfurled toilet paper swathing the gyrating audience makes it all right in our digital-stoked universe. Everyone leaves pumped and humanly connected, for the moment. Blue Man Group performs exclusively on Chicago's Briar Street Theatre on the North Side. Guests in the front rows wear rain ponchos to protect them from spew. The show is most appropriate for tweens to adults. Tickets start at $120.

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