Sunday, October 23, 2022

REVIEW: 25 Years of Blue Man Group!

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List

photo credit Bonnie Kenaz-Mara unless listed otherwise
Blue Man Group
25th Anniversary 
By Guest Critic Catherine Hellmann

The last time I saw Blue Man Group, I was pregnant with my son. He is now a second-year teacher. So, it’s been awhile. Incredible how this unusual and hard-to-define show has endured and thrived and became a global phenomenon with franchises in ther cities. It’s cool that it started here in Chicago. 

My theater friend advises that one approach the Blue Men concept as if they are aliens to our planet, or English-Language Learners who have been dropped into a foreign culture. There is an innocence about them which is a huge key to their charm. They look bewildered at simple things, like a toddler making discoveries. 

If you live in a cave and have somehow missed the Blue Man buzz over the decades, Blue Man Group consists of three actors/percussionsts/artists who create music, paint, catch marshmallows in their mouths (the guy next to me counted 17…), interact with the crowd, make fun of technology, and cause amusing mischief. 

The audience participation aspect is fun. The right people seem to get chosen to participate. They were very entertaining and good sports. It’s also charming to see such a huge variety of people in the crowd. It’s a show for grandparents and younger children, families and dates, and a sure bet for your friends who are visiting Chicago from out of town and want something different to experience. 

There are “unsafe seats” near the stage for when the drumming gets interactive with paint. My sister observed, “Uh-oh, the folks in the front rows are putting on their plastic again…” You can also sit farther back and enjoy the show at a distance, but don’t be surprised if a Blue Man walks up the aisle past you or even climbs over the seats nearby.     

They have the best late-comers cue I’ve ever seen. A chorus recording sings “You are LATE! You are LATE!” while a camera follows the mortified audience members to their seats. That was a hoot! 

There is a newer bit with the Blue Men eating from boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal that made me pity the stage crew who has to clean up after every performance. I liked reading the giant cue cards which the Blue Men flip. One read that “Tobias isn’t here,” a hilarious reference to David Cross’ insanely funny character on Arrested Development. (Tobias had aspirations to be a member of Blue Man Group and “blue himself” in advance preparation of getting the call to sub from his agent…leaving blue handprints all over the house.)

We also had a fabulous time at the preshow press party. Check out our adventures below:

ChiIL Mama (Bonnie Kenaz-Mara) with sisters & guest critics, 
Catherine & Teresa Hellmann 

If you’ve never been to see Blue Man Group, you should go once to see what all the fuss is about and have the experience. After that, you have my blessing to support other theaters in Chicago, especially the smaller, storefront ones.  

Catherine Hellmann is a Teacher-Warrior, mom, reader, and theater fanatic. She loves books so much that she birthed a librarian and two teachers. A recent trip to Alaska marked her 49th state…Hawaii is next on her Bucket List. 

  • Blue Man Group, the critically hailed theatrical phenomenon with an open run at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre, celebrates 25 years in Chicago  
  • Since its debut at the Briar Street Theatre in 1997, Blue Man Group Chicago has:
    • Entertained more than 5 million people with more than 12,000 performances
    • Thrown more than 120,000 marshmallows and 36,000 gum balls 
    • Used 48,400 cakes of makeup (in their own proprietary color, Blue Man Blue) 

Blue Man Group Ticket Information: 
Blue Man Group Chicago ticket prices start at $49. Tickets can be purchased by visiting In celebration of Blue Man Group Chicago’s 25th anniversary, Illinois residents can receive 25 percent off select seats now through December 1, 2022 by visiting A full show schedule and pricing can also be found at 

About Blue Man Group 
Blue Man Group is a global entertainment phenomenon, known for its award-winning theatrical productions, iconic characters and multiple creative explorations. Blue Man Group performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy and non-verbal communication. Since debuting at New York’s Astor Place Theatre in 1991, the live show has expanded to additional domestic residencies in Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas, an international residency in Berlin, and multiple
North American and World tours, reaching more than 50 million people worldwide. Blue Man Group is universally appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds, and continually injected with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and sensory stimulating graphics. Blue Man Group is owned and operated by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. For more information, please visit 


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