A trio of bald men painted in blue are bringing their unusual mix of theatre, rock concert and visual euphoria to Kingston this Fall. Tickets to see the internationally renowned Blue Man Group are now on sale at the Krock, leaving ample time for sales to meet the magical, break even number, and ultimately guarantee the show goes on. These blue weirdoes have been popular for over a decade, and although some might dismiss their performance art as mere spectacle, the show is much deeper than it might appear on the surface. Is Kingston ready for such an experience?
There are no convenient labels for the Blue Man Group or their untraditional brand of theatre. Essentially, three men who are, in fact, painted blue, make music by banging on various items, most often drums, but also PVC Tubes, garbage cans, and other custom instruments. The boys in blue never speak, yet they still manage to silently convey what’s going on. Between musical sessions, short multimedia scenes and humorous sketches play out, often involving audience participation. They invite audience members on stage to enjoy twinkies over candle lit dinners, and make rhythmic noises by chomping on Cap’n Crunch cereal. It’s hard to describe the show in it’s entirety, but the most important thing is this–it’s fun.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Blue Man Group will employ personnel from the local entertainment union, which is an issue that negatively impacted ticket sales for their short-lived run in Toronto back in 2005. That production was met with constant protests from a coalition – made up of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, the Toronto Musicians’ Association and two locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, as well as a boycott from the Ontario Teacher’s Union. In any case, if the Hip can pull off an un-unionized show in Kingston, it stands to reason that the Blue Man Group can as well.
The group may be a bit stale in comparison to when they first burst on the scene in Intel’s Pentium 4 television commercials, but they can still draw a crowd. The question is, whether or not they can draw a Kingston crowd. With tickets selling for $55 to $75, plus the crippling surcharge, you can bet that curious spectators are going to pass on the Blue Men. That being said, the fact that this act is coming to Kingston is a step in the right direction for those booking gigs at the Krock. Are you planning to attend? Let us know by dropping a comment or two.