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Seattle by David-Edward Hughes

High-Decibel Razzle Dazzle Rules as Blue Man Group Arrives at the Paramount

Also see David's review of The Love Markets

Blue Man Group

For impressive, nearly ear-splitting and eye-popping entertainment that is provisionally acceptable for the whole family, Blue Man Group, now in residence at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, certainly fills the bill. Created, written and directed by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink (tour direction is credited to Marcus Miller and the afore-named trio), Blue Man Group has sit-down and touring versions galore, and it's not like seeing a national tour of a Broadway musical where essentially only the cast changes; Blue Man Group is different depending on where you see them.

Of course there are by necessity many Blue Men, and the trio at the Paramount (Kalen Allmandinger, Kirk Massey and Bhurin Sead) are able, agile, and otherworldly clowns in this 21st century version of vaudeville. The production is probably the most overwhelming multimedia mix I have ever been exposed to and, though for me, it verged on sensory overload, it is an undeniably fascinating experience.

The stand-out moments in the show for my money, are a food bit employing a shy but game female audience member, another audience participant who becomes a sort of human paint brush for a super-size canvas, and a joyously energetic finale involving gigantic bouncing balls employed out over the audience who then play "keep away" with them.

The show employs top-notch musicians, including the men themselves, and it crams more hyperkinetic entertainment into 90 or so minutes than anything I have ever seen. It will not appeal to the very young who may be a bit frightened, but for those who might fear over-amplification, ear-plugs (which I did not use) are provided.

All in all, Blue Man Group dazzled me, intrigued me, fascinated me and, well, really did just about everything but charm me. Or make me want to go to another performance in the near future. But, as a one-time experience, I can most certainly recommend it.

Blue Man Group plays at the Paramount Theatre through October 16th. For tickets or information call 1-877-STG-4TIX (1-877-784-4849) or visit them online at www.stgpresents.org or www.tickets.com.



- David Edward Hughes



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