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(photo credit: Courtesy)
Blue Man Group
Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds
Not quite a rock concert, not exactly a Las Vegas extravaganza, not really a sci-fi, audience-participatory experience: Blue Man Group's Friday afternoon matinee in Tel Aviv was, in fact, all of the above, and a lot more.
Longtime Broadway and Vegas staples, the trio of mute performers, who appear in blue grease paint over latex bald caps and black clothing while playing a mixture of idiosyncratic percussive instruments, more than lived up to their hype in a riveting two-hour performance entitled Megastar 2.0, backed by a precisely rehearsed high-energy rock band.
The premise of the show finds the baffled, childlike blue men in possession of a Shopping Channel-procured guide on How To Be A Rock Star (rock move #4: the one-armed fist pump). The results are parody, hilarity, stunning multimedia visuals and blasting rock, embellished by thunderous percussion.
The more you know about classic rock clichÃ©s the better, but it's rare that it can be said of a show that an audience from age eight toâ€¦ well, at least 60 - if you don't mind loud music - can immensely enjoy it for different reasons.
The genius of Blue Man Group is that while the show skewers all of the lame rock moves that have been codified over the years by lame Spandex-wearing guitarists and vocalists, it also offers a glimpse into the spontaneous creation of those moves as an expression of raw joy and exuberance.
By virtue of a masterful performance and the dynamic music and visuals they create, the blue men and the band end up reveling in those very clichÃ©s they parody and subsequently explode them in two. The audience may have been laughing along with the jokes at first, but near the end of the show, when the off-screen narrator called on them to invoke rock & roll moves #5, 7 and 12 - which involving stamping your feet, making the devil sign and waving your outstretched arm back and forth over your head - we didn't need any prompting. For a few minutes, we were all blue men.
Performances continue through June 13.