Put smiles in faces of every color

By Iride Aparicio

Photos by Paul Kolnik



San José, CA – As part of Broadway San Jose a Nederlander Presentation  BLUE MAN GROUP arrived to the S.J. Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose California for a five-days show that lure the audience to use their senses by  talking, shouting, Rocking  and shaking their tushes, or just observe  the electronic gadgetry on the stage, the changing colors of the lights, the unusual musical instruments, to allow themselves to vibrate with  the loud bets of the drums, to feel the rhythms of the music, to get lost in its sounds, in other words, to become alive.

BLUE MAN GROUP is a multinational media and entertainment company with theatrical and digital media operations across three continents, permanent live performance installations in six cities , and an ongoing theatrical tour on the USA and Canada and a highly acclaimed show on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic.

The group was started by three young entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, artists and comedians: MATT GOLDMAN, PHIL STANTON and CHRIS WINK who appear on the stage as three bold  blue-faced characters.

Their show is easier to describe in pictures, hundredths of  multi-color pictures than in words. Why?  because the show  is a wondrous blend of  light, music and colors.


The rhythm, play in drums, like the beat of a heart is heard constantly during the show, as the melodies, played in “strange-looking ” instruments. emanate sounds never before  heard. The stage is filled with multi-color lights, or futuristic paintings in a mixture of art, science and technology.
The actors are three bald men with blue faces. We see them as multi-color bodies of light,  as shadows, or as men, moving around the stage doing  childish, witty things such as eating cereal from a box in their hands with  one of them getting  his cereal glued all over his face. The three sitting down  at a table sharing a Twinky  with each other, cutting it  and then placing a piece on the other’s plate. White liquid squirting out of their chest, playing together with a man tossing balls into another man’s mouth. A man splashing blue paint on  the body of a member of the audience, ( wearing protecting clothes) laying of the stage, and then the other two lifting the man and bringing his body to a large white canvass to paint his image. During the show, they do many silly things like that to make people laugh.

While the men are silent, however, they manage to express their thought  in writing, by writing messages in lighted signs. So in between actions, one can read: “Sing a Happy birthday to (a name) by just saying  the words”  or  “There will be no intermission, which means  that  if you want to pee, you better do it now,” or: “You are late” pointing a camera at a couple who arrived late to the theatre.

Part of the fun in the show is observing the things that  appear to make no sense, and find sense in them. For instance the relation they made by putting sewer pipes together with the wold-wide internet: one connects all the sewage and the other  connects all the people. The fact that by twitting we have become two-dimensional people (because we no longer talk in person with each other (who are three-dimensional persons. One of the most creative scenes represented three huge intelligent phones hanging from the ceiling that when the three of them touch the screen of their  three phones together converts into a “one arm bandit” Las Vegas gambling machine with three rows of figures rolling.   

And following a saying from the International Diplomacy Guidebook that says that “The best way to forge a lasting friendship is to create something together because when you create something with others you build a connection that lasts a lifetime.  The Blue men, mix with the people in the audience.  Walk  over the seats, in the aisles and for some acts invite them to go up the stage and cooperate in their acts.

At the end, after the people danced, laughed, meditated on the meaning of the acts and fully enjoyed the show, the light dim and color changing  balls float on the air as long while paper serpentines descend over our heads.

Picture from a National Tour  © BMG

The show that began with a Blue man has been around for more than two decades yet their founders, GOLDMAN, STANTON, and WINK who wrote it and direct it, cannot explain where Blue Man came from.  His origin is enigmatic. On opening night, however in the NETworks Presentations LLC production the roles of Blue man were played by KALEN ALMANDINGER, SHANE ANDRIES, WES DAY, PATRICK NEWTON, RUSSELL RINKER and CHRIS SMITH 

If the audience wonders, what is this show about? The history of the show gives them the answer  in the words of  PUCK QUINN, director of  development and appearances: “BLUE MAN is all about creativity and innovation. We innovate” he says.

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