“When you first meet people from a foreign culture, a great way to break the ice is to offer a few gifts as a gesture of friendship. It’s always good to choose items that reflect your personal interests, and it’s even better if it’s something you have created yourself. You also need to show a genuine curiosity in their interests and their culture. But ultimately, the very best way to forge a lasting friendship is to create something together: Whether it’s a meal, an art project or just a spontaneous dance party, when you create something with others, you build a connection that lasts a lifetime.”
-International Diplomacy for Dummies
I was sitting at the Jubilee puzzled by the above statement , and wondering what relevance it had to the show. I thought I was going to go see a production with lights, music, and visual effects similar to Stomp.
But the Blue Man Group is more than that.
As soon as the show starts, you can tell that there will be a heavy reliance on jokes, technology, and crowd involvement. This is not a serious show, although the message I left with is a very serious one indeed. But before I began discussing the meaning behind the show, I’ll describe it in a more superficial way.
Why is the Blue Man Group worth seeing: the level of interaction is unique—it reminded me of a magician at a kids party picking volunteers to help him with his act. Whether it was because the group wanted help with their tricks, or to give someone a gift, the audience was heavily involved with the show and the three blue aliens in the show.
The Blue Man Group also has an inclination to make fun of things—particularly society, human interactions, and themselves. There is throughout the show a hint of judgement towards modern forms of communication, and the incredibly fast way that technology is changing the way humans interact. I say judgement, because the show seems to try to point towards the importance of face to face communication with their sketches.
Although there are a lot of messages spoken, or read, the blue men do not speak—an aspect that is important for the deeper meaning of the show: The blue man group can be perceived as metaphoric foreign entering into a new world, or country, in which their customs, behaviours, and language is different. The audience, which acts as the host culture, is also as foreign to the group as the group is to the audience, and as the audience discovers their odd behaviours—and find them funny—the blue men learn from the audience responses to them. In a very similar way as a child learns about society, the blue man group learns about the audience. With their interactions, they are constantly feeding and responding from the reactions of the crowd.
It also seems to address the pertinent issue of human interactions in the realm of modern life. As the blue man group shows, and tells us, we have become more used to having electronic interactions rather than face to face interactions—we are renouncing our 3 dimensional world for a 2 dimensional one—and the implications of that in terms of communication are affecting the way in which we see and perceive the world.
Besides the very important critique to modern society in terms of human interaction (or more like the lack thereof), this show is also a huge party: combination between a concert and a show. There will be a lot of music, and dancing, involved (be ready to put your hands in the air like you just don’t care and shake your booty).
So you plan to go the show, I recommend getting a ticket on the first front rows or main floor—you won’t regret it. Also, try not to be late—you may regret that.
The Blue Man Group will be at the Jubilee until Sunday, hope you get a chance to see it!
Ana M. Osorio