Chicago's Blue Man Group
Part rock show, part audience participation and part silly (see how one mouth can turn marshmallows into a bunny sculpture), Blue Man Group mashes up a night out.
If it's edge you're after, Blue Man Group is the ticket. Having run for 14 seasons, Blue Man Group recently retooled its show at Chicago's Briar Street Theatre. New high-tech twists ramp up its message about the importance of making human connections and embracing differences among people you meet.
If you've seen it before, it's worth knowing the crowd-rousing core remains. You'll still see the PVC-pipe percussion sets, mouth-molded marshmallow sculptures and body-slamming portrait painting. But in the new show, the bald blue guys encounter GiPads (gigantic smartphones). Their virginal exposure to apps reveals a strong, satiric commentary on how our ever-shorter attention spans have cost us face-to-face conversational social skills. But the show's signature dance-party finale, complete with unfurled toilet paper over the audience, feels more fun than finger-shaking.
A word of warning: Guests in the first few rows wear rain ponchos to protect them from paint splatters and spit-out food. Tickets from $49. (773) 348-4000; blueman.com/chicago