BLUE MAN GROUP: Percussionist Performance Art. Created by Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink.. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., S.F. 90 minutes. (888) 746-1799 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (888) 746-1799 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Through June 19, 2011


As a practicing otologists and former consultant to the Hearing Industry of America, the detrimental effect of noise on hearing levels is well known to me. There are many articles warning the public about protecting that precious hearing. Yet, Rock Concerts persist and the popularity of the Blue Man Group has expanded 20 fold in as many years with multiple traveling shows blanketing the world. Last night the first national traveling contingent of what is now a mega-organization presented its latest drum/tube banging, called Percussionist Rock, to an appreciative audience at the Golden Gate Theatre.

Trying to understand why a mass of humanity (a capacity audience) respond to the request of neon super-titles and three men prancing about in blue-face to yell, clap, raise their arms and shake their butts, is unfathomable. If you do go to the show, do not sit in the first rows unless you are comfortable wearing a plastic raincoat for 90 minutes. The reason is the probability of being splashed by liquid.

In actuality the visual displays, lighting and sets are a marvel worth seeing if they would turn down the 34 speakers, 17 on each side of the stage, down. The three men beating on drums of various sizes and ingenious use of expanding and contracting PCV plumbing pipes generate most of the noise. To top it off, the even have back up of percussionists suspend in rear stage cages. The awesome visuals include paint-drumming, mouth catching ping-pong ball routines and mind-boggling lighting with copious use of strobes that would send an epileptic into convulsions.

Audience participation is an integral part of the evening and three good sports hauled to the stage (with their permission) to take part in some funny routines. A Twinkie eating routine is a gem but to extend that into routine of eating something, then have it come out of their stomach and have someone else devour it, is gross. My seatmate suggested that yes; they were weird, but also wonderful.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

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