No Words Needed in the Immersive 'Blue Man Group' at Luxor Hotel and Casino
By Cassiopeia Guthrie, Nov. 23, 2022
There's really nothing like the immersivity of Blue Man Group, a mainstay of entertainment since its premiere in New York in 1991. In keeping with that high level of expectation, the current performers in residency at Luxor Hotel and Casino, one resident production of five currently running in the United States and Berlin, have crafted an experience that simply is not to be missed.
This mesmerizing show is the brainchild of Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman, a trio of performers from NYC. After developing a bald, blue character (Blue Man), they set to work mashing together music, art, comedy, clown work, and audience interaction. The recipe is bizarre; scenes in the show range from food-adjacent nonverbal comedy sketches featuring Cap'n Crunch, Hostess Twinkies, and marshmallows to percussive original music on instruments like the drumbone, a PVC-pipe half drum, half trombone instrument. There's a tongue-in-cheek bit that pokes fun at interactions with technology, black light confetti cannons, and ultimately - and perhaps best of all - a space where the freedom to have fun is freely given for a solid 90 minutes.
From the initial backlit moments of the show in which the three Blue Men played custom-made instruments to the grand finale when they brought their band and crew (the program says that there are fourteen crew members running the show at any given time!) out for bows, I was entranced. The iconic paint drums were as promised - bold, splattery, goodness - on both ends of the production. Between them, there were giant animatronic bug drum kits, a huge set of chimes, drum sets that generated smoke rings out in the house, and so many other unique moments. We were brought to our feet for an interactive dance party and my oldest laughed uncontrollably as an audience member from the house was immersed in an improvisational exercise.
I think it is important to mention that the non-verbal nature of the show is one key element that carries through with the Blue Man Group; while some sound cues are tied to an English script, the Blue Man performers themselves never speak at any point during the performance. I am intrigued by this idea. Where theatre always creates opportunity for connection, the way that this production lives in playfulness without alienating anyone in the audience (in fact by "alienating" the actors themselves) is brilliant.
And those alien performers themselves are beyond outstanding - they lead pulsing, energetic, and electrifying tunes paired with a four-piece rock band who are housed above stage in an enclosed platform (and wearing glow apparel) with no apparent deficit in energy, though each performance must be incredibly draining. I can hardly imagine the extensive list of skills that must be required for those performers and, in fact, fell down a YouTube Blue Man rabbit hole while reflecting on this performance and my favorite parts. I am already looking forward to my next Blue Man Group experience.
Bottom line: if the performance art scene is your jam and you are looking to have your sense of childlike wonder activated, all the while rocking out to a killer theatre and rock show, this show at the Luxor is worth the trip. Interactive, original, and deeply entertaining, Blue Man Group in Las Vegas absolutely will not disappoint. Tickets are available at blueman.com.