So what can blue do for you?
Well, according to veteran Blue Man Group member Meridian (aka Jonathan Clapham), local audiences coming to the South Okanagan Events Centre next week will have their world rocked in ways they can never imagine.
“People can expect a lot of different things when we come to Penticton but I don’t think they can expect what they’re going to see,” said Meridian, in a telephone interview from Medicine Hat Thursday, where they performed in front of a sold-out crowd the night before. “They can expect to be dancing in the aisles in the finale, they can expect to laugh a lot, but otherwise they’re really not going to see what they expect.”
He added the high-energy show, fuelled by the tribal rock sounds of the accompanying four-piece band, is founded on the interaction between performers and audience.
“I think at the heart of all the Blue Man Group creativity is just this curiosity, this desire to be connected in a world that tends to try and disconnect people, in a world where we’re always on our phone and not talking to the people who are directly around us,” said Meridian. “Our show is sort of an oasis where you can come and laugh and feel playful and just enjoy events with the other people.
“Because of the nature of it, because of the way that a Blue Man sees the world and the way a Blue Man reacts to the world, it triggers something in peoples’ minds they don’t expect. They don’t expect to see what they’re seeing, they don’t expect to see a Blue Man do what they do.”
Clapham, who is also a classical pianist and yoga instructor, has been with the troupe for 12 years, getting his first taste of Blue when he was called up on stage during a show when he was in college.
“I think I enjoy just the audience reaction more than anything, just the spirit of spontaneity and fun that are really present in the show and that fun and excitement and that playfulness,” he said. “It’s so cool to watch that transform an audience and put smiles on peoples’ faces, it never gets old, it’s a funny job.”
The pre-show routine usually takes about 90 minutes with about half that time spent having the non-drying, blue grease, paint makeup applied “in cakes.”
But during that time the three characters also spend some important moments together to get prepared mentally for the show.
“We do a fair amount of just joking around with each other which to an outside observer might look like we’re just playing around, which frankly, we are, but it’s also part of our process to getting on the same page together,” said Meridian. “It’s part of the journey of our show with the audience. It forms a connection between everyone there, and we like to think that if we’re really connected to each other then we can share that connection with the audience more easily.
“Everything in the show really comes down to that moment of trying to connect with people, trying to connect people to each other and I think that’s really at the heart of what this show is about.”
They also get together afterwards to talk about what worked, some of the funnier moments and just wind down.
The performance art group was formed in Manhattan in 1987 by three friends and acquired by Cirque du Soleil in 2017.
“When people come to the show they may not know what to expect but once they leave I’m completely sure they’ll be very happy with what they get,” said Meridian.
The World Tour of the bald, bold and blue entertainers comes to the SOEC Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 8 p.m.