A Solihull care home worker became the star of the show at the spectacular first night of the Blue Man Group's only UK shows this year.
Whether you are into sound, vision, rhythms, mime or comedy the group knows how to appeal to the whole family.
It’s not the kind of spectacular performance art you could replicate easily at home – so that explains why the act has played to 35 million people since it was founded.
On Thursday, December 28, group and venue (Hall 1) came together as one in what is the only place to see the group during its current 14-show UK ‘tour’ and the first to play the city since they appeared in 2009 at the now recently rebranded Arena Birmingham
Each show has four blue men but only stars three, with one given the day off.
This line-up includes a Brummie, Joe Woolmer.
From being dazzled by the strobe lights at the entrance (some people will simply have to shut their eyes and hope for the best at this point) to the pounding rhythms of the drums, the opening could appeal to everyone from aliens to rock stars and from Bhangra dancers to remote tribes.
Soon the three men dressed in black top, trousers and shoes below their latex-covered and painted blue faces turn to comedy.
And it’s with jaw-dropping precision, too, when you see what one man can do about 25 times with his mouth.
Audience participation is key to the fun, too.
From filming latecomers entering the venue so that they can see themselves on the big screen, to hauling some of them on to the stage.
Sadly, because this is a mime performance, there is no Brian Conley-style verbal comedy at this point to identify the participants.
But Solihull care home concierge Julie Dempsey played her part to perfection during a dining-out routine involving bananas. She 'kept mum' like a true professional.
She mimed here way through the extended sketch to perfection.
“I enjoyed the show from the audience just as much as I did being on the stage,” said Julie, out enjoying a birthday treat with husband Kevin having previously helped other family members to see the show in Las Vegas.
"Once I saw they were playing here on December 28, we just had to come," said Kevin.
Members of the audience in the first three rows were given blue plastic ponchos to keep any potential splashes of food or paint off their clothes – some of the routine involve art works being created by drumming on paint-covered heads.
Full marks to a man from the audience who inadvertently got to create his own 'impressionist' painting in spectacular fashion. Seeing is believing with that trick!
There’s also a scene where the group record their own selfie in the manner which Brian May recently pulled off at his Queen concerts at Arena Birmingham and he would be sure to love this educational fusion or art, science and music.
As the show leaves some of its quieter moments behind there’s a famous riff from Black Sabbath from the shadowy backing band which includes two more drummers – an entirely appropriate homage given the ICC’s location close to Aston, the birthplace of heavy metal.
You also get the kind of giant bouncy ball finale which made Sabbath’s ‘The end of The End’ world tour so memorable at the Genting Arena on February 2 and 4 earlier this year.
The Blue Man Group show runs to about 90 minutes plus, with no interval.
But there are some matinees and you can be photographed with them in the foyer afterwards.
An ‘adult’ show that children like, I would say it’s suitable for all ages from eight upwards, but anyone with a special needs child would have to see it first to know if was suitable given the loud music and strobe lighting.
Note: on a bitterly cold night outside, it felt like there was a draught swirling round the hall too - at least at the back of the front stalls near to the exit door.
How can I get tickets?
You can buy them through from The Ticket Factory where prices from £28.13 to £55.13 incl admin fee) + £2.55 fulfilment fee per order.
Times and dates include
Fri 29 – 7pm
Sat 30 – 4pm and 7pm
Sun 31– 1pm and 4pm
Tue 2 – 7.30pm
Wed 3 – 7.30pm
Thu 4 – 4pm and 7pm
Fri 5 – 4pm and 7pm
Sat 6 – 4pm and 7pm