April 1, 2023

A review of the Blue Man Group at Universal Studios, Orlando, by Kayleigh Frances O’Connor

Entertainment from alienation?

Articulate aloud, without saying a word?

The beguiling Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink, act as the gormless yet enthralling Blue Man Group, in their callously humorous performance, following their journey from estrangement to eminence.

The idea of variation in theatre is distinctively a Brechtian style of performance; this scheme was creditably conveyed by the blue men’s routine.  The men wore utilitarian costumes, held expressionless faces, and created their own salute, the characters free from stereotypical labelling, and somewhat equal to the audience.

Indeed, there were periods, where the disaffection suggested through the blank faces and intensity of the eye contact made between audience and man, created a sense of separation. I cannot say that the discomfort I felt was a brave decision of the blue man group, as at times I felt inclined to leave. However the suspense I felt persuaded by attention towards the outcome of each surreal situation I found myself in. The thrill encouraging my spirits to watch and endure, to discover the Blue Man understanding.

This shrewd approach to enactment ensured that the entire audience’s attention was grasped; the silence occasionally broken by the unrefined use of heavy rock music. The juxtaposition of the hush and focus of the blue man activity against the outrage of composition reflected the performance’s entirety.

On the other hand, this inclusion of music, simply named ‘The Rock Instruction Manual’, was in fact an incredibly comedic fraction of the show. The ingenious inspiration of this component of the show was developed from well known games such as The Complex Rock Tour and How to Be a MegaStar Tours 2.0, which the audience could relate and interact with. The blue men had the audience doing ‘the basic head bob,’ ‘the one arm fist pump’, ‘the up and down jumping motion,’ ‘the two arm up-ward thrust and yell’ and finally the unflattering ‘behind the head leg stretch’! This kind of humor, although in many ways idiotic and dense, meant the audiences’ involvement embraced the entertainment factor of the performance.

All credit to the Blue Men for creating an atmosphere, contemplative of the emotion they felt before the revelation of freedom and individuality they now have today.

In comparison to Brecht, who, like the Blue Men, through estrangement, solely aimed to provoke the audience as a theatre practitioner, the Blue Men focused on science, technology, innocence
and self-consciousness, in one capsule of pursuit, giving more depth to the ideas that were portrayed.

The unknowingness of the evening, due to lack of advertisement and deficiency of context behind the show creates immense excitement looking forward to the outcome of the product.

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