Tuesday, November 14, 2006

blue's clues

I am fortunate enough to be married to a woman who asks for pretty solid birthday gifts. I would obviously oblige if she requested truckloads of Pottery Barn gift cards or the latest season of Boy Meets World on DVD. However, it sure is nice when what she really wants is something that we can both enjoy. And after a great meal at a nifty Mexican restaurant in Tulsa, we spend last Friday evening at the Blue Man Group show.

Usually, people in this part of country are deprived from extremely creative shows. Sure, the touring companies come through do a great job. Yet most people opt to skip the trip to the theater, unless it is a mainstream act. Which explains the extended showing of Too Fast Too Furious On Ice last summer.

In most minds of the most people, the Blue Man Group is considered a mainstream group. They should be pretty user-friendly. After all, they were in that one computer commercial a few years back. I forget which PC they were advertising for. It probably doesn’t matter and the computer is more than likely outdated. But as cute as these little blue men might be, the people sitting in my section seemed to miss half of the show.

I’m not sure if they were expecting the Blue Men to swallow fire sticks, but the middle-aged couple to my right was literally asleep. There were men painted in blue banging on pipes a hundred feet in front of them and they were asleep. I, however, was on the edge of my seat. Thankfully, the percussion out did the snores because I knew that I was witnessing one of the most creative performances I have ever seen.

Please don’t think that I am attempting to position myself as some highbrow theater patron. That is not the case. What I am trying to communicate is this: sometimes you can fail to see the beauty in creativity because you don’t want to think, but you merely want to be entertained. The Blue Man Group was fun to watch, but unless you were engaged, it could get old. Not much speaking, just two hours of instrumental music. The message was tough to spot. You had to be looking for it, but buried deep in their songs were messages. They wanted people to come away from the evening tapping their toes but also racking their brains.

I drove home that evening thinking back on the lyrics of the songs. I kept asking myself, “What were they trying to say?” The swirling message had a hint of isolation, a touch of conservation, and seemed to be encouraging people to be individuals.

For two hours three men painted blue demonstrated that they are some of the most creative people in show business. For two hours they said nothing, but for two hours they said a lot.

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