McCain Auditorium once again played host to the Blue Man Group Wednesday evening. The mono-color trio, made famous in a series of late ’90s Pentium TV ads, now tour regularly across the U.S., filling nights with spectacle, wit and color. During the show, the group’s acts went from minimalistic droning to an explosion of vibrancy instantaneously.
Early in act one, the restrained stage setting was not unlike an early 2000 iPod commercial. Shown in silhouette, on colored foregrounds, the figures on stage appeared to be two-dimensional, but as the curtain was raised it was immediately clear that this experience was toying with the audience’s perceived boundaries between two and three-dimensional space. This theme would be echoed throughout the entire production.
“I thought it was amazing,” Ariana Maupin, freshman in music education, said. “I’d see it again tomorrow if it wasn’t sold out.”
Recurring motifs included exaggerations of real-world popular culture, like the massive GiPods of act two. These were iPad-like devices larger than a man from which they could “share text with hundreds of your friends.” As the trio walked in front of and around these set pieces they would become digitized and brought back to life, once again asking the audience to redefine the terms of how they think of real space and cyberspace.
But the show is not without its standard bearers. Appearances from PVC pipe organs, unique and bizarre instruments, and yes, even paint in a barrel drum, all made their welcome display. Not to mention the visual gags and humor, and the mystery surrounding the act’s end.
Some theatergoers were brought on stage and used as props or characters. Ryan Bates, Wamego resident, was sprayed with paint and used as a giant brush against a life-sized canvas.
“Yeah, I saw them in Orlando before, but this was a different show.” Bates said.
Mike Heiverger, an attendee who had seen the show years before in Chicago, laughed at the numerous jokes throughout the production.
“I’d seen them once before, it was very interesting,” Heiverger said. “They’re great.”