LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Like many Grossmont College students, I took advantage of Halloween weekend by spending it in one of the biggest party cities ever, Sin City. It is the land of crazy costumes and wild wigs, flashing lights and extravagant shows, but this ghoulish weekend, Vegas offered something more than words could express; discovery.
As a lover of the arts and an advocate of new experiences, each year, during this time, I enjoy a different live stage performance and grow a little more, culturally. This year’s selection was the famous Avant-guard trio, Blue Man Group, held at the 1788 seat Venetian Theatre. The 4-Star show has always intrigued me with the heart pumping percussions and vibrantly creative musical skits, so finally witnessing the non-verbal expressionists in person quickly became the highlight of my weekend.
For those readers unfamiliar with Blue Man Group’s decade-long history of interactive theater performances, multiple sold-out touring rock shows, Grammy-nominated
musical compilations or platinum selling DVDs, a little history is necessary. Over 20 years ago, co-founders Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton ironically discovered a common bond through their own personal feelings of isolation. In the congested neighborhoods of New York City, these three “outsiders” found life through impressionistic art. In an effort to “break free” from “the lonely heart of the modern city”, the young and ambitious New Yorkers decided to create something fulfilling that would fill their internal voids. They felt they were living in a “compartmentalized non-community” in which the only connections to each other were through underground pipes. This camaraderie, coupled with artistic inspirations from Edward Hopper and Lynn Hershman, created the start of what has now evolved into Blue Man Group phenomena.
I sat 10 rows back, barely avoiding the “poncho” section, where spritz of glow-in-the-dark paint and marshmallow showers infiltrated the crowd. Over 30 percussionists, each wearing industrial work suits covered in black light paint, surrounded the state-of-the-art theatre. Drums and guitar penetrated the speakers as the curiously blue painted men step entered the stage. In 90 minutes of edge-of-your-seat entertainment, the BMG delivered a stunningly voiceless performance, stimulating all the senses all while invoking creative imagination and realization regarding social media in our world today.
There were themes of science and technology, innocence and self-conscience, information overload and pollution, all displayed through scenes involving PVC plumbing, DNA, human sight and Internet references. The idea behind BMG is that they represent the part of us that wants to play, to connect with others, and experience the simple joys of being alive but battle the constraints of social repression and mass media.
After the show, I participated in a meet-and-greet with two of the three members and was able to have them each “autograph” my evening program. As non-speakers, it is normal for the men to “sign” their artwork with an impression from their blue thumb however, I was lucky enough to get more than a thumb print to mark their amazing show…I got kisses!
As one of the 17 million worldwide audience members who have had the privilege of catching the amazing performance. I hope my memorable Halloween experience
will motivate you to step away from your mundane and monotonous routines and begin to discover the beautifully eccentric and empowering world of arts and entertainment.
Fedor is arts and entertainment editor of the GC Summit. She may be contacted at [email protected]