Zachery Sutherland is a staff reporter for the Arkansas Traveler, where he has been a staff reporter since February 2019.

Blue Man Group

A large crowd filled the Walton Arts Center to see the Blue Man Group, a group as legendary for their musical and artistic talent as for their quirky blue face paint and wordless style.

The Blue Man Group stars the Blue Man Captain, who leads a group of performers painted blue, as they entertain with instruments, lighting effects and light satirical comedy skits.

The interactions between the Blue Men and the audience were a defining moment in the performance. I was frightened that they might pick me to go on stage.

One thing that particularly stood out was when the Blue Men picked two people from the audience to participate in a sketch that started with a phone call and became a dating show. The way the Blue Men and the audience members presented this scene was over-the-top entertaining.

They even went as far as to put the spotlight on people late to the show, though that definitely seemed staged.

Another standout moment was when The Blue Man Captain and the Blue Men spent much of the production playing with their audience. At one point, they pretended they were going to strike the audience with a water balloon.

The Blue Man Captain, who goes by Meridian, leads the group with a distinguished passion. He assumed his role as the leader of the Blue Man Group in a positive and fun manner. The way he used facial expressions and body movements was deeply captivating to watch.

The performance featured various retro elements like copious ‘80s style televisions hidden around stage, VCRs and techno music. 

At one moment during the show, the Blue Men left the stage with a VCR playing a video, where one of the Blue Men appeared to try and escape the TV.

There were satirical moments throughout the play, like when the narrator spoofed what the cast members do during a set change.

The production team shined with the use of multicolored lights to present special effects, though there were moments in the production that could have affected people with photosensitivity issues, such as rapid lighting and a fast combination of dark and light colors. The lights played a pivotal role in almost every aspect of the show.

Alongside the band, the Blue Men played instruments that appeared to be pipe-like objects, and drums. 

Near the end of the show, water fell from above the stage onto the drums. The blue men beat the drums and the water, mixed with colors, splashed into the air for a stunning display. 

The Blue Men even took advantage of the lighting itself when they pointed a light out at the audience during a musical performance.

Though the performance was entertaining to watch, some moments came off as childish and unintelligible, particularly at the beginning. Rather than speaking, the Blue Men relied on their facial expressions for acting. Though, the overall chemistry between the actors was a delight to watch.

Overall, the Blue Man Group’s performance is full of chemistry and will amaze audiences with the actors’ childlike fun and energy.

The Blue Man Group will perform at the Walton Arts Center Until Sept. 19.

Audiences can purchase tickets on the Walton Arts Center’s website.

The Arkansas Traveler Score: A

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