PEOPLEText: Rei Inamoto


The idea of three blue men is a weird one. The idea of those three blue men performing random acts of meaninglessness is even weirder. That is what the Blue Man Group is and that is what the Blue Man Group has been for the past decade since it opened its doors at the Astor Place Theater in 1991.

Ever since its opening a decade ago, the Blue Man Group has achieved a tremendous amount of success. They now have shows not only in New York City but also in Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. They are even featured in recent Intel commercials in which they use Pentium 3’s logo as a motif to perform with. And these happen to be the most memorable Intel commercials.

The Blue Man Group is probably the 90’s icon of experimental theater gone commercially successful while remaining its original quality. De La Guarda would also fall into this category.

The show starts with these Blue Men creating “art” with paint balls and marshmallows. One member would throw a paint ball to another member who then would catch it with his month and splash that onto a canvas. The same thrower would throw a marshmallow to the third member who would also catch it, repeatedly catching it for a dozen times, and then would create a “sculpture” with marshmallows.

The Blue Man Group also produces music (they in fact sell their CD called “The Blue Man Audio“) by using their originally invented xylophones that are made out of regular household pipes and tubes. Another musical piece of the Blue Man Group is drums, which are equally simple yet amusing. In one scene of the show, the performers play drums in the dark with long sticks onto which LED signs are installed. This displays a unique typographical play within a theatrical experience.

Bruce Nauman, an influential American artist of the late twentieth century, once said that “the point where language starts to break down as a useful tool for communication is the same edge where poetry or art occurs.” And that is where the Blue Man Group belongs.

Text: Rei Inamoto

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.