Who’s that Blue Man?

Intrigued by The Blue Man that’s been spotted on taxis and posters around Singapore? Those who have caught it in the States have been raving about this show and promising that it is just as much for adults as for children.

The show features three Blue Men beating on drums and generating a kaleidoscopic spray of airborne paint, catching flying gumballs with their mouths and spewing the paint onto canvases, or chomping out a Cap’n Crunch symphony. The characters merge hero and trickster, clown and scientist, innocent and super hero. And the audience responds with unadulterated, uncomplicated, grin-inducing joy; with howls of laughter; with childlike wonder and delight.

Phil Stanton who founded the Group with Chris Wink and Matt Goldman says, “A lot of people think that being bald and blue is putting on a mask of sorts. We consider it the opposite — that we’re taking off the mask. Once you strip away the hair, the skin tone, the gender, the ears, and have no particular style of clothing, what’s left? It’s really the rawest, purest form of what’s essentially human. We’ve found that for the first half of the show, audiences think they’re looking at these very strange, unusual beings. But somewhere in there – and I see this over and over – it suddenly dawns on them that they’re actually watching themselves. And then the question becomes – and I go back and forth on this myself – are we watching three different beings with three different personalities, or are we watching one being that’s been split into three? I like to live in the ambiguity of it.”

The Blue Man uses every facet of his being to engage the audience in situations and ideas and behavior and sights and sounds that intrigue him. And he does so without ever speaking.

“Talking is so limiting,” says Wink. “But we don’t think of the Blue Man as a mute. We think of him as someone whose chosen not to say anything, he chooses to express himself differently.” At first glance, a mess – but looking closer, it’s far from one. It might be child’s play but it’s certainly not childish. Connecting to the audience and creating a community within the walls of the theater is what matters most to Blue Man Group.

“The relationship with the audience is everything,” says Stanton. “Because at the end of the day, the Blue Man is really just trying to connect. He knows, whether intellectually or on a gut level, that in order to get to that ecstatic, heightened moment, he’s got to connect with these strangers. That’s why the Blue Man is so respectful of the audience. That’s why he wants to gain their trust. It’s all about the connection.”

“Yes. It’s all about the connection,” emphasizes Wink. “And we also want to make a statement about how important it is to have that connection live, in person. Though technology has made it so that we don’t have to have be physically together, there’s something about our humanity that will always need to be among other people, among our tribe.”

Catch the Blue Man Group at Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from 29 March to 17 April 2016. Tickets are available from sistic.