The Blue Man Group: for many, that’s all you need to say. They put on such a legendary show, and have been featured in Vegas for many years! I saw them at the National Arts Centre over a decade ago here in Ottawa and they continue to excite me when I hear their name: The Blue Man Group. When I found out that they were finally returning to Ottawa, I had to get tickets immediately to see them again up-front and in person at TD Place.
If you’ve never heard of the Blue Man Group, or don’t really know much about them, they are not the easiest group to fit into a defined box. They’re not theatre, as there isn’t a story that goes along with their performance, but it is a performance nonetheless. They don’t put on a concert, (although there is a great deal of music), but I wouldn’t call it a concert exactly. They’re not a comedy act, although they are hysterically funny. So, in simple terms, they are just plain entertainment, and they do that perfectly! They totally lived up to my expectations once again! However, that being said, the show was not without flaws.
The evening shows are scheduled to start at 8pm and run for approximately two hours. We’ve all heard of opening night glitches, but what I experienced last night, was a full-on technical failure. The 8pm show finally got underway just after 9pm, after the crowd endured regular apologies but little explanation other than “technical problems”. The audience was starting to get a little upset, but in true Ottawa fashion, this was only expressed through sarcastic comments to one another, a little louder than necessary so that other people in the proximity could also enjoy the satire and share in the obvious dissatisfaction. We’re so polite here.
However, all was forgotten immediately once the show finally got started. The Blue Man Group members seemed to be unfazed by the technical difficulties, and the actual show went off without a hitch (albeit an hour later than expected). I really don’t want to give too much away in this review as they comedic timing and actions are what make the show; the unexpected antics are fantastic. One thing I will warn though, as I feel that I would have appreciated the heads-up: that you may have noticed when buying your tickets that there is a “splash zone” in the first three rows. If you were scared away by that and chose your ticket in row 4-6, well I suggest you be prepared to be in an “outer splash zone” without the protection of a poncho. Enough said….you’ll see!
The audience was just dying of laughter throughout the entire performance. As I mentioned, the comedic timing as well as the simple “looks” from the three blue men are enough to send anyone into a fit of laughter. They’re funny, they’re talented and they are fantastic entertainers, without even saying a word! The audience was totally captivated throughout the show: loving their animated facial expressions, their skill with many unconventional percussion instruments, and the elements of audience participation (floor people, that’s your warning). This is all before I even mention the amazing sound and lights, which are pretty much continuous throughout the entire show. Massive screens on the stage and exceptional lighting make this a visual spectacle (and the show even includes a science lesson about the human eye)! Finally, after thinking about this overnight, the one word that sums up their comedic talents is “ridiculous”. They are so funny, and the jokes are simply that: ridiculous, but in such a good way! This was such a fun show, I laughed all the way through it!
I know tickets can be pricey if you want to get close, but trust me, it’s worth it!! At $100 a ticket for row 6 floor seats, I’m so glad I went. They have four more shows before they wrap up this weekend. Tonight, (Thursday), Friday and Saturday nights, and a Saturday matinee. Get out there and see them, in case you have to wait over a decade for them to come back again! Let’s show them how much Ottawa appreciates this kind of entertainment! Enjoy!