Wednesday, July 07, 2004

And Now I, Too, am Blue

Sean took me to see Blue Man Group for the first time in the spring of 2002. We had just started dating, and he thought it would make a great birthday surprise. It did--I loved it. He even bought me the painting from that night's performance, and I hung it up in my bedroom even though it didn't, doesn't, and never will match anything.

BMG was always a great thing to take Boston visitors to--everyone loves it. It wasn't just that it was a cool visual and aural experience--althought that definitely was part of the appeal--it was that it made people see things in a different way, and made them look deeper into things they had never even looked at before.

I best explained it by telling people that it was "accessible performance art".


Over the weekend, we had a slew of visitors--some of my college friends and their significant others. They were psyched about the idea of scoring some BosTix to see a performance of Blue Man Group, and we were (as always) psyched to see it again--especially since they had made some "changes" and "additions" to the show.

Sean left early Saturday morning and drove downtown to hit a BosTix kiosk. He waited patiently in the holiday-weekend line, and low and behold, managed to score six front-row balcony seats--all together, no less. Now we were really psyched.

The time came, and we proceeded to the Charles Theatre with a spring in our step. We were going to see BMG again!!! And everyone was going to love it!!!

Bah. Beware--semi-spoilers ahead.

Before, one of my favorite segments of BMG involved an animated projection with accompanying voiceover--about fractals. Fractals. As the voiceover stated, fractals are a "total mind fuck". But, wow! Who has ever given fractals, and their place in the universe, a second thought?

Now, that's gone. GONE. In it's place, there is a short spiel about "animation". The quality of the animation is even lacking. Bah.

Do you guys remember the fish? The fish art exhibit? Changed. Bad now.

The big flipbooks, all three of them different? I loved that segment because I could read all three, then go back and compare. So I noticed that it was shortened, and quite different. Another change for the worse.

They don't even play "The White Rabbit" anymore. But there is a shiznit joke.

Worst of all--they did away with the segment(s) about urban isolation and message overload. Now the L.E.D. screens flash simple, funny sayings. Ha ha! And the closest thing to a statement about urban isolation was a comment about going to an internet cafe and not interacting with anyone around you because you are interacting with people not around you who are not interacting with people around them. And that, for this show, was deep.

Everyone still loved it--it's still a cool show. But it has lost its edge--lost it completely. Now, I no longer have any desire to go again. I don't feel compelled to tell friends and family "You have to see this show!" and then take them while they're visiting. Nope. I don't care if I ever go again.

Bottom line--they've dumbed-down the show. A lot. To the point where I'm kind of ashamed to be a person living in this society--where it's assumed that anything that makes me think a bit too much would be unpalatable.

Why did they do it? I'm at a loss. The show was in no danger, as far as I know--I've never been to a non-packed house there. People are thrilled to shell out the $60 to see it.

I'm still bummed. Hopefully I can see it at other venues and feel my old warm fuzzies.

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