I’ve written about Blue Man Group Chicago a few times since I started this blog in 2007. That’s partly because it’s one of the local activities that has consistently remained in our family’s top five (or so) for the last I-don’t-know-how-many years. It’s partly because it’s just a freaking good show and I want everyone to know about it.
Jim (who is seriously a BMG FANATIC) and I have seen it so many times we’ve lost count. We LOVE taking visitors to see Blue Man Group. In fact, when Jim and I were recently trying to figure out how he and his boss would entertain their co-workers who were visiting from China, Blue Man Group Chicago was a no-brainer. (Spoiler alert: they loved it!)
Sidenote: Blue Man Group is perfectly great for non-English speakers and the younger set because Blue Men don’t actually talk! There are a few sections in the show where there is some, shall we say, narration, but it doesn’t come from Blue Men and the majority of the show is strictly music. Speaking of the younger set, kids three and up are welcome to attend the show!
When I found out Liz’s middle daughter was going to spend a week here with me, I was fairly certain I wanted to get her to a show. When Liz told me she was coming for part of the week too, I made up my mind. WE WERE GOING. (Spoiler alert: they loved it!)
Here’s the thing. The thing is, Blue Man Group is performance art. It’s loud, it’s colorful, it’s funny, it’s surprising, it’s silly, it’s clever…but I can’t tell you exactly what happens during the show because a big part of the joy is in letting it unfold right in front of you.
The experience begins in the lobby, where you’ll find artwork, music, and even “chat tubes” into which you can speak and have a conversation with a total stranger somewhere else in the room. Once you get seated in the theater, you’ll fix your eyes on two LED signs at the front. Read the pre-show instructions and you might start to get the idea of what kind of fun you’re in for. When the show starts…well, now we’re back at my not wanting to ruin it for you. The only thing I’ll say is that while I love the entire show, the finale is still my favorite part and it looks like this:
But that’s all I’m saying.
Blue Man Group Chicago has two new awesome things for me to tell you about. The first? Free WiFi.
As one who has always sat in the theater ahead of the show, messing with Instagram and Facebook to pass time, I completely appreciate this. I mean really, when you’re sitting in the theater maybe it shouldn’t be your top priority to mess with your phone. Maybe you should talk to those you’re with, and even the strangers sitting near you, if everyone’s feeling friendly! Is that reality? No. (Full disclosure: FOR ME, that is reality. I always talk to the strangers next to me at a Blue Man Group show, to see if they’re first-timers. I can talk to almost anyone.)
So in the spirit of giving everyone what they want, like the ability to mess around freely with their phones before the show if they don’t want to chat it up, the nice folks at Blue Man Group Chicago have made it possible for audience members to access their free WiFi and, well, I’m sure I speak for just about everyone when I say THANK YOU. It’s because of that free WiFi that we were able to send out some pre-show pictures of some lobby art and a Group of Blue Ladies:
The second piece of awesome from Blue Man Group Chicago? Their Autism show that’s on Sunday October 4 at 4:00 p.m. (Chicago was the first city to stage an autism show, last year!) Blue Man Group shows nationwide are working with Autism Speaks this year to provide special experiences for this special community and will donate a minimum of $25,000 towards autism awareness and research to benefit families affected by autism.
From co-founder Phil Stanton:
“We’ve heard from many families affected by autism that their children responded to the Blue Man character in a very moving way. We don’t know the exact reason. We can only speculate that it has to do with the Blue Men communicating in their own unique way — non-verbally, through visuals, touch and sound. Their message often resonates on a deeper, more sincere level. Once we knew that we could be helpful or provide an outlet for those affected by autism, we felt it was important to do more. With our sensory-friendly shows, we want to create a safe and welcoming environment for individuals and families affected by this disorder, in the hopes that they can have an entertaining and joyful experience together.”
More information on the Autism Speaks partnership, when all of the cities will stage their Autism shows, and how these shows will be changed just slightly to ensure the autism community gets the most out of their experience can be found by clicking HERE. Spread the word!
I leave you with this: if you live in Chicago or another Blue Man Group city, you need to see this show. It’ll be one of the most fun ninety minute segments of your life. (I love it so much that I’m going back in three weeks. I CANNOT STAY AWAY.) Blue Man Group Chicago is staged at Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted (in Lakeview). It’s close to public transportation and there’s a parking lot right outside if you drive there. More venue info, including directions, can be found HERE.
Have you seen a show? Let’s have some fun. Leave a comment telling me what your favorite part of the show was, without actually saying in detail what it was. Blue Man Style! No spoilers!
Disclosure: I was provided with three tickets to attend the show. All opinions in this post are, obviously, mine. The two performance pictures were provided by Blue Man Group Chicago. Lastly, I absolutely adore the nice folks at Blue Man Group Chicago, and hope they never get sick of me just as I will never get sick of their show.