Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

TRUE BLUE ; Performer Finds Mesmerizing Show Hard to Describe

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

TRUE BLUE ; Performer Finds Mesmerizing Show Hard to Describe

Article excerpt

The ear-enveloping skull cap and the gleaming skin of paint that will coat his head and hands in the Blue Man Group show coming to The Centre this week are no alien cover-up, said Kalen Allmandinger. On stage, he and the other two blue characters featured in Blue Man Group's tour remain mute, speaking with their music, their movements and their eyes, accentuated by the cobalt blue makeup painted over every inch of exposed skin.

Out of character, Allmandinger spoke in rich, resonant tones in a phone call from Utica, N. Y., where the tour performed last weekend.

First off, the Blue Men are not aliens from another planet, he said.

"We try to think of them as purer forms of ourselves," Allmandinger explained. "As we put on the makeup, it's kind of like we're peeling away our own masks to show something that's a bit more simple and primal."

The mute characters they play are like scientists, figuring out how to make intricate, high-energy music on bizarre percussion instruments made from PVC pipe and flexible hose.

They're also like amazed children and inquisitive dogs, using all their senses to take in and respond to the lights, the sounds, the space and the audience.

Describing the characters is easier than characterizing the show for Allmandinger.

Even after 11 years as a Blue Man, Allmandinger still has trouble putting it into words, he said.

In another interview he called the act a "neovaudevillian, punk clown variety show." A friend called it "kind of like stepping into a painting being made," he noted, but "it's definitely something you need to experience to understand."

In the nearly 25 years since its formation, the Blue Man Group has become an international phenomenon, with long-running shows in major cities around the world and touring productions barnstorming the country with the latest version avant-garde, musical performance art.

Allmandinger has performed in New York, Boston, London, Berlin and Tokyo productions before joining the latest tour, which will bring more than two-dozen performers, technicians and other crew members to The Centre for shows Tuesday and Wednesday. …

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