BLUE MAN GROUP: THE MIME TROUPE IT IS OK TO LOVE

I’m cured!

I faced my fear of mimes and attended one of the weekend’s sold-out performances by the Blue Man Group at San Bernardino’s California Theatre of the Performing Arts.

I liked it!

I’m all better now!

I’m happy to report that the Blue Man Group represents a new kind of mime. These performers are not like the old-fashioned mimes, the scary ones, who always seemed to find themselves stupidly trapped in imaginary boxes.

Frankly, I always was relieved to see them trapped in those boxes. I hoped they wouldn’t get out.

The Blue Man Group, on the other hand, is not trapped in a box. No, these guys definitely think outside the box.

Drumroll, please.

For one thing, these Blue Men make plenty of noise. They aren’t like the creepy mimes of yesteryear who never made a sound, who just stood there rolling their eyes and making hand and arm gestures, trying to communicate in some infernal secret language that only they could understand. I used to want to scream at them, “What? What? I can’t HEAR you!”

Like mimes of old, members of The Blue Man Group don’t talk or sing, but they do raise one heck of a ruckus. They bang on drums, they play on improvised instruments, they pound on things, they stomp up and down, they throw stuff around.

It’s like a rock concert, almost. Only noisier.

I admit, I had some nervous moments. A few times the Blue Man Group came out into the audience, grabbed innocent spectators, and dragged them onstage to participate in various bits, some of them involving copious amounts of paint.

I ducked down in my seat during these dire times, hiding myself, until the crisis had passed.

Honestly, though, the audience was so much into the show, and there was so much laughter and applause, it was impossible to remain apprehensive for long.

The Blue Man Group sold out six shows on three consecutive days at the California Theatre. I can’t think of another act that has done that. Ever.

Above and beyond the obvious popularity of the Blue Man Group, I think what is happening here is that this venue is bringing a lot of fantastic entertainment to San Bernardino and the public is responding. I am all for that.

Upcoming attractions at the California Theatre include such legendary performers as Chuck Berry, Mannheim Steamroller, Amy Grant, Brian Setzer and Michael Bolton, as well as such theatrical blockbusters as “Riverdance,” “My Fair Lady” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Check out the whole schedule at www.californiatheatre.net or call 909-885-5152.

You know, I’m looking forward to all the shows. More so than the last. I admit, I was terribly dubious about the Blue Man Group. That’s why it was such a surprise to end up liking it so much. I was just buzzing about the show after it was over. (Of course, beforehand I had steeled myself with a strong drink in the California Theatre’s Will Rogers Room … and it’s possible I still was buzzing from that.)

There was a tense moment at the very end. The Blue Man Group came out into the lobby, after the show, to mingle with patrons and pose for pictures.

It was a little close for me.

I got out of there as fast as I could.

Yes, it’s true, thanks to the Blue Man Group, I have conquered a lifelong phobia.  I’m in recovery now.

But I don’t want to take things too fast.