Euphoria is a state of bliss that is beyond happiness that can not be explained in words, thoughts, or action.  After participating in the performance of the theatrical show and concert from the Blue Man Group at the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas , I was in a  state of ecstatic Bluephoria, which is euphoria encountering drums, music, comedy, singing, and humor.

The impersonal, technocratic world we live in.

Most of the other audience members were in Bluephoria, too, because the actors had created a connection between us and the party atmosphere took us away from our everyday, hum drum lives; we didn’t want Bluephoria to end. In fact, Bluephoria seemed to spread throughout the audience almost Zen like and lasted long after the show ended.

We live in an Orwellian world, in a depersonalized system of government, corporations, work stations, and home lives.  We watch TV to escape our entrapment, only to be bombarded repeatedly by the very same system with commercials and inanity.   There is no escape, except in Bluephoria.

The only thing that connects us in a metropolitan area is the plumbing.  This was noted by the narrator in the multi-media presentations that popped up throughout the show and represented by the PVC piping stage sets during the Blue Man Group’s performance.  Modern life is not interactive on a personal face-to-face level, but only through the matrix of cell phones, digital devices, computer screens, and email, all of which are manipulative commercial thought channels.  We tune out our neighboring tribesman with Sony walkmans, ipods, and earphones.

Aboriginal drumming brings us back to our roots.

In the aboriginal past, we had drums, one of the earliest instruments.  Drums drew the tribe together with a reverberating pounding that could be heard miles away through the thickest bush lands.  The Blue Man Group is all about drumming, sending out the tribal signal to bring us back to our roots, to communicate through vibration without words, to unhinge our isolation.

We are connect by our
plumbing, and drumming.

One of the opening segments has the three man troupe drumming in wonderful colors, red green, and blue, the colors spectrum perceptive to human eyes.  The drum sticks sprayed sparks skyward on each beat as if the drums themselves are volcanic.  The group even drummed a haunting orchestra on the PVC pipes built into the stage sets or on something resembling an xylophone but which didn’t sound as tinny.  All the sounds from the performance are deep, guttural, commanding.

They even had a drum that was so huge they had to use a large rubber mallet to make it resonate.  What a work out they get. It is as if they are calling us back to our ancestral tribal past for a village festival.

The Blue Man Group is not so much about music or theater as it is about providing a cohesive audience experience, allowing us, no, demanding us to participate.

The double helix is within us all.

When the show first opens two twirling strands of blue ribbons twist slowly on the IMAX-sized screen, the strands eventually wrapping together to form the double helix, the structure of life, with the connecting DNA between the strands reminding us that even though each of us has a different DNA pattern or imprint, the double helix connects us all the same in the brotherhood of humanity.

Water towers on each side of the stage twirl colored bubbling light like lava lamps, also representing the double helix.  Dropping from the ceiling are numerous long plastic colored tubes that are first static and then they slowly twist and turn, forming, yet again the double helix choreographed to the music.

Before the presentation even began the ushers unravel long streams of white crepe paper that is rolled out in a stream — hand over hand — audience member to audience member, unconsciously reminding us how connected we truly are. Then another roll is uncoiled and then another, flowing down the rows unending.


Later in the show from the back of the theater reams of crepe paper magically unroll from large drum-like cylinders. The back rows pull the crepe strands over their heads and pass it on to the seats in front of them, and then like the surf fringe on a tropical beach the crepe washes over the entire audience in a mighty volume that requires everyone’s participation — you have to pass the crepe forward or drown in it. This requires that you touch the person in the row in front of you and behind you. When was the last time you touched someone in public that you didn’t know?

When the crepe finally reaches the stage it is gathered up like a huge twisting beast on a rope, an animated giant of crepe that bounces with the tribal music, each strand of crepe providing mass to the structure.

What this conveys to the audience is the suggestion that we are not separate we are connected to our fellow human beings and to nature itself.

Groove with the Group.

The Blue Man Group walks through the audience in slow motion, eye piercing the crow, movement is deliberate but jerky, like a praying mantis stalking its prey. They are looking for an audience member for a stage presentation. Throughout the entire performance none of them speak, but words are not needed to communicate wonderment, surprise, confusion, intrigue, humor, or amazement. Yes, their faces are truly blue, almost acrylic making them appear like lost aliens from the mother ship. 

When a couple slips into the theater late disaster sirens blare and scream and a huge neon sign flashes “Late Arrivals” and the camera zooms in on them with all the stage lights pointing them out in their seats as the soundtrack plays a song castigating late comers. The tribe is displeased with late arrivals because you are seen as a non-participant, an outsider, an interloper, a taboo, because they did not engage in the required tribal rituals from the beginning of the show. The Blue Man Group stares at the couple.  The audience stares at the couple.  The couple has been disconnected. Don’t be late for the Blue Man Group.

Blue Man Group has gone international.

The performance by the Blue Man Group is probably the most avant garde live stage presentation you will ever encounter, combining music, theater, comedy, and multi-media.  The company applies its unique creative process to a wide variety of projects, including film and TV scoring (most recently the animated feature Robots), commercial campaigns (such as Intel), and television programs (like the recurring storyline in “Arrested Development”).

According to Blue Man Group’s co-founders, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink, the Venetian show has been designed with emotional impact in mind.  According to Wink, “Our trademark has become the blissfulness that our show creates in its own quirky way. The changes we are making are meant to boost the audience’s elation to a whole new level.”

The company is global, with live stage shows in New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Toronto, and for many years in Las Vegas . If you saw the show at the Luxor, the show has been updated when it moved to the Venetian in 2005, and is well worth a revisit.

Blue Man Group is performing nightly at 7:30 pm and/or 10:30 pm at The Venetian in a custom-built, 1760-seat theatre; this is the first time that the Venetian has played as permanent host to a production. Tickets are priced at $85 and $110.  Premium seats and VIP packages are also available. Call 702/414-SHOW.

By Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.

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