Rave meets Vegas meets TEDx, in blue

photo by Paul Kolnik

by Kel Munger

Blue Man Group, that trio of bald, blue-faced naïfs-slash-aliens, lands in Sacramento for a hilarious, action-packed and loud run as part of California Musical Theatre’s Broadway Sacramento series.

Cultural icons—they’ve even been on Arrested Development, not to mention Celebrity Apprentice and Ellen—with drums and mild-mannered but artistic approaches to common objects, the show’s opening was more than a half hour late due to technical difficulties.

It turned out not to matter.

In bits that require audience participation—and plastic hoodies for the first four rows—Blue Man Group explores art with paintballs versus art with marshmallows, the quality of sugary breakfast cereal, the nature of plumbing interactivity, and how we see colors. It’s one part TED Talk, one part Stomp, one part Gallagher and one part David Garibaldi (minus the rock portraiture, but with added video and confetti).

One of the people selected from the audience on opening night—no doubt to the surprise and delight of Blue Man Group—was Sacramento actress Kristine David, an Elly-winner who currently treads the boards in Romeo and Juliet at Sacramento Theatre Company. In a laughter-filled bit involving dinner etiquette, Twinkies and squirting food, she proved a near-match for the blank-faced antics of the indigo boys.

A departure from the usual Broadway musical-theater fare, Blue Man Group is a delightful and intense 95-minute romp, both exhilarating and exhausting. Family-friendly (though small children would probably be overwhelmed), it’s also a bit loud, especially in the orchestra section, so bring ear plugs.

Blue Man Group, 8 p.m. Wednesday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $21-$88. Broadway Sacramento in the Community Center Theatre, 1301 L Street; (916) 808-5181; www.broadwaysacramento.com. Through March 16.

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