Blue Man Group: How to Be a Megastar Live! Review
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The Blue Man Group is an ensemble of three mimes dressed in dark, nondescript clothes, with their heads painted entirely blue. They excel at visual arts and in playing percussive instruments. They seem to be from another planet, so everything in our world is a curious new adventure. Even something as mundane as a credit card elicits blue-faced expressions of wonder and puzzlement.

The live show featured on their How to Be a Megastar Live! DVD starts with a burst of music, as the Blue Men front a full-fledged rock band. Behind them all is a large movie screen, on which an infomercial appears. “Order now!” says a pitchman, selling a product called Rock Concert Instruction Manual 2.0. The Blue Men immediately order it by phone. When the oblong box arrives seconds later via UPS, they open it and begin to learn the secrets of instant rock stardom. Part of the fun is in watching the trio try out new moves, like loosening their pelvises and choreographing a dance routine. But one of the Men gets it wrong, facing away from the audience, and he only turns around when he senses the other two staring at him in dismay.

  
 
While the booming voice of the narrator tells both Men and audience what to do (“Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care.”), the Men play a variety of drums and other instruments. One is a huge xylophone-type device that looks like a truckload of PVC pipes that fell off a truck and melted in the sun. Often, throughout the show, they leave the stage entirely and mingle with the audience in odd and funny ways.

Sprinkled throughout the rock show are some comedy bits that appear on both stage and screen—some funny, others less so. The comedy that doesn’t involve the Blue Men directly is the least effective. But I loved the music—especially their kick-ass versions of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly.” For the latter, the Men perform the tricky electronic parts on portable octopus-like devices—and, amazingly, they get every note right. I also liked the way the Men combined sound and visuals, as in the playing of drums laced with wet paint. The paint sprays straight up and almost into their faces in a riot of frenetic color.

This DVD was recorded in a huge arena in Dallas, Texas. It’s a great show, and it really captures the essence of the live event. If you’re new to the Blue Man Group, this is a good way to see what they’re all about. If you’ve seen the group on television, like I have, and want a more in-depth experience, here it is. And, if you’ve seen the group live, like my co-worker has, then it’s a reminder of a nice memory. For any of these groups, I’d recommend the DVD for the sheer entertainment value.

As for myself, after watching this DVD, I would say that, with or without the rock show, I’d go to see whatever the Blue Men have to offer.

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