date published: November 26, 2001
Totally Tubular
The silly, sarcastic, über-subversive world of Blue Man Group rocks the Charles Playhouse
by Christopher Wallenberg

For six years now, Blue Man Group has been mesmerizing Boston audiences at the Charles Playhouse with its inventive brand of multimedia theater—an amalgam of mischievous, childlike stage antics, primal musical performance, and irreverent art and cultural criticism—all wrapped up in a giddily subversive fusillade of sight and sound.

Launched from humble beginnings at the Astor Place Theatre in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early ’90s, Blue Man Group has become a certified pop culture phenomenon, with versions of its show running in four cities across the country, frequent guest spots on the late night TV talk show circuit and appearances in the now-ubiquitous Pentium commercials.

Blue Man Group—led by founders Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink—eschew terms like “performance art,” but it’s not easy to pigeonhole the group’s unique form of theatre to the uninitiated. Whether drumming on PVC piping or buckets full of paint, spoofing the inflated airs of the modern art world, commenting on runaway technology or engulfing its audience in a Silly String-like stream of intertwined paper, Blue Man Group manages to be contemplative and droll—but, above all, visceral. The audience doesn’t have to “get” everything that’s happening on stage because it’s all so much fun.

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