Dare to Live: Blue Man Group (Las Vegas)
Ordinarily, and in any other town, a trio of blue-hued mutes in turtle necks would be posted up on street corners, accepting tips for photos and standing as nomadic and unofficial tourist attractions — a sideshow act without the circus, one meant to be avoided by locals and gawked at by out-of-towners.
But the Blue Man Group aren’t ordinary, and this isn’t any other town. Though the trio conjure images of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (but with a blueberry tint), the unspeaking blue men have been Las Vegas staples since 2000 — an extraordinary length of staying power for a triumvirate of speechless performance artists.
Seeing their show at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, it’s easy to see why the painted performers endure. With Blue Man Group, none of the humor is lost in translation: the threesome speak the universal language of the body, the same as silent film characters that captivated audiences with nothing more than facial contortions, gestures, and exaggerated movements as their sole means of expression.
Described as “avant-garde,” Blue Man Group is the weird kind of performance art that takes deep strides over love or hate — you either get it or you don’t. From percussion-driven set pieces with booming drums to prop humor with boxes of Capn’ Crunch or oversized smart phones, Blue Man Group is fueled by its ingenuity: you come to expect the unexpected, as there’s no way to anticipate whatever it is they could possibly come up with next.
Gross out humor may not be your forte, and some gags can wear thin, overextending their welcome, but the oddball cueballs more often than not know how (and when) to elicit big reactions from their entranced audience. In their painted blue hands, anything becomes either a drum or a mischievous prop to better exploit their cheeky sense of humor.
Offbeat in tone but never in tempo, Blue Man Group makes a colorful splash for the entirety of its 90 minutes, with enough variety that the show reinvents itself every few minutes: the men trot out Tron-like light-up suits before unveiling arachnid-inspired drum kits, and even drum kits that emit smoke rings. Most impressively, the show comes to a crescendo when percussion and paint come together in a colorful burst of energy and excitement.
A delightfully weird multi-sensory experience and fun for audiences of any age, Blue Man Group performs nightly at 7:00 and 9:30 pm at Luxor Las Vegas. Regular starting price is $59.00. A VIP tour, “Blue Man Group: Behind the Blue,” is also available at an additional charge. Tickets.