Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group in Brazil in 2009
|Website||http://www.blueman.com/ and http://www.DareToLiveInFullColor.com/|
Blue Man Group is an award-winning global entertainment company formed in 1991, and best known for its creative stage productions around the world.
Blue Man Group currently has ongoing theatrical productions in Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, New York and Berlin, along with a North/South American Tour and a show on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship “The Epic”. Along with the theatre show, Blue Man Group has toured the globe with their “Megastar World Tour,” a rock concert parody, released 5 albums, contributed to a number of film scores, performed with orchestras around the country, and appeared in advertising campaigns for prominent brands.
Blue Man Group grew out of a collaboration between three close friends, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Blue Man character emerged out of small “disturbances” on the streets of the city, growing into small shows at downtown clubs, eventually becoming a full performance at the Astor Place Theatre. The award-winning show caught the attention of national media.
The group was initially formed over 25 years ago by three college graduates: Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink.
When their creative impulses led them to develop a bald and blue character they called Blue Man (to evoke the word Human), more than a few people raised eyebrows. Undeterred, the partners invested their time and resources into following this curious character into a small theatre in New York City. What transpired was a groundbreaking performance which left audiences moved and inspired. Unprecedented theatrical success complete with accolades, awards and genre-jumping opportunities followed.
In fact, the overwhelming and unexpected success of the Blue Man Group show at the Astor Place Theatre in NYC led to numerous productions around the country and the globe — first in multiple US cities followed by international markets. As audiences grew attached to the Blue Man and his perspective on the world, demand for Blue Man experiences expanded. Blue Man Group created additional productions, including an arena rock-concert parody called ‘How to Be a Megastar’ World Tour, Grammy-nominated albums, Emmy-nominated TV content, film scores, Children’s Museum exhibits, toys and more.
The ability to stir an emotional response through the use of non-linear, non-verbal storytelling prompted some to categorize Blue Man Group as “experiential”, or “performance art”, but regardless of title, Blue Man Group proudly ushered in an era of non-traditional theatre experiences, which audiences are still enjoying today.
The ongoing success of the boundary-pushing character is often credited to the format of the show – the innocent, curious Blue Man is a foreigner to our culture, and is therefore always exploring, questioning, commenting on the world around us, encouraging us to see ourselves and our lives with a new perspective. This allows the show to change and evolve as the world around us changes, keeping performances fresh and timeless. But despite the constant reimagining of the show content, one thing never changes – the mission of every Blue Man Group performance. The primary goals are to create a euphoric celebration where the group can experience a heightened sense of being alive, and fulfill the shared human desire for communal, tribal connection.
When the Blue Man Group founders determined they would focus on the essence of what makes us human, they created a character who reflects the best of our shared DNA. This character resonates with all types of people, all ages, all languages and nationalities.
Blue Man Productions is now a successful multinational entertainment company with theatrical and media operations across three continents, including ongoing theatrical productions in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando and Berlin, a North American Tour, live theatrical and musical appearances around the world, high-impact advertising and co-branding campaigns with prominent companies, and a wave of innovative digital content, a touring Children’s Museum exhibit and more. As Grammy-nominated recording artists, Blue Man Group has released 5 albums, contributed to various film scores and performed with prestigious orchestras and philharmonics around the country.
Matt, Phil and Chris’s courageous choice to forge their own path created a vibrant global company supported by a multi-faceted and passionate tribe of talented creative artists, writers, musicians and performers. With the founders’ commitment to “Follow Your Bliss” steadfast, they work in the same collaborative spirit that inspired them 25 years ago, keeping the Blue Man Group shows fresh and timeless, while pursuing new creative projects.
Current theatrical productions
- United States
- New York City at the Astor Place Theatre (1991–present)
- Boston at the Charles Playhouse (1995–present)
- Chicago at the Briar Street Theater (1997–present)
- Orlando at the Blue Man Group Theatre at CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort (June 6, 2007–present)
- Las Vegas at the Blue Man Theatre at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino (October 10, 2012–present)
- U.S. National Tour (September 2, 2010–present)
- Berlin at the Bluemax Theater (February 1, 2006–present)
- Norwegian Cruise Line
Previous theatrical productions
- United States
- Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino (March 10, 2000 – September 15, 2005)
- Las Vegas, Nevada at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino (October 10, 2005 – September 30, 2012)
- Berlin at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz (May 9, 2004 – January 31, 2006)
- Oberhausen at the Metronom Theatre (March 11, 2007 – October 3, 2008)
- Stuttgart at the Apollo Theater (February 28, 2008 – October 12, 2008)
- United Kingdom
- Amsterdam at the Theater Fabriek (December 2006 – September 30, 2007)
- Tokyo at the Roppongi Invoice Theatre (December 1, 2007 – November 29, 2009)
- Tokyo at the Roppongi Blue Man Theatre (April 29, 2010 – March 31, 2012)
- Basel at Musical Theater Basel (October 25, 2008 – January 11, 2009)
- Zürich at Theater 11 (January 17, 2010 – May 2, 2010)
- Sydney at the Sydney Lyric Theatre (August 2013 - October 2013; rest of Australian tour to Perth and Melbourne cancelled)
Music and tours
In 1999, the group released their first audio recording, titled Audio. Although it contained some of the music from their stage productions, it was less of a soundtrack and more a collection of full-length instrumentals that featured new instruments.
Unlike Audio, The Complex featured a variety of vocalists and guests including Tracy Bonham, Dave Matthews, Gavin Rossdale and Venus Hum. The record spawned its own 2003 tour, the first headlined by Blue Man Group. The tour deconstructed the traditional rock concert experience into its often clichéd parts and was chronicled in a 2004 DVD release. The tour featured Tracy Bonham and Venus Hum as supporting acts. The DVD included a surround sound mix of some of the studio recordings.
Blue Man Group launched its second tour, The "How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0", on September 26, 2006. The tour added some new material to material from the original Complex Rock Tour, and had Tracy Bonham as an opening act and vocalist. DJ/VJ Mike Relm was the opening act for the second leg of this tour, which ended April 22, 2007 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This third leg of the tour began in May 2007 and included performances in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile. The fourth leg, using "2.1" in its title, included more U.S. and Canada dates. Following that, the Megastar World Tour visited France, Korea, Canada, Germany, and a few other European countries throughout 2008.
The "How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0" visited Taipei, Taiwan from August 19 to 23 as part of a promotional campaign for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics in Taipei, most of the show's dialogue displayed with subtitle. As Typhoon Morakot hit the island and caused serious damage in mid August, the group agreed to perform one extra show with the proceeds being donated to the victims of the flood.
Announced in 2009, Blue Man Group began performing for the first time at sea on Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, the Norwegian Epic. The Epic began alternating 7-Day Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami with Blue Man Group shows nightly in July 2010.
In 2013 a tour to South Africa was announced, marking the first performances on the African continent. Dates are yet to be confirmed, although it seems as if the shows will be in July.
- The Complex
- Exhibit 13
- I Feel Love
- Live at the Venetian
- The Current
- Canta Conmingo
- Shake Your Euphemism
In September 2008, Variety reported that the original trio (Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton) would star in a Blue Man Group IMAX 3D feature film, to be produced by Charlotte Huggins. The film, titled Blue Man Group: Mind Blast, was to be directed by David Russo and released by National Geographic Entertainment.
- The Complex Rock Tour Live DVD (2003) – Live concert footage taken from shows in Grand Prairie, Texas.
- Robots (film) (2005) – Performed on soundtrack for movie.
- Inside the Tube (2006) – A special one-hour documentary created originally for PBS. Features interviews with Stanton, Wink, and Goldman describing the Blue Men, and video clips from various theatrical performances. Available through the PBS store and also as an extra on the How To Be A Megastar Live! DVD.
- How to Be a Megastar Live! (2008) – Live concert footage from Blue Man Group's newest tour. It was released on DVD on April 1 and Blu-ray on November 4, 2008. The DVD version includes a bonus audio CD of many of the show's songs.
- Scoring Reel – a scoring DVD only available in 2004.
- Intel - Blue Man Group was featured in Intel adverts for the Pentium III, Pentium 4, and Centrino line of processors.
- TIM Brasil - Blue Man Group is the face of TIM Brasil, the largest mobile company in Brazil.
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno — Blue Man Group appeared on The Tonight Show numerous times for memorable performances, often including the audience and/or the celebrity guests (i.e. Robin Williams, Mel Gibson, etc). One Blue Man Group episode won an Emmy Award for The Tonight Show.
- Arrested Development — This pop culture favorite approached Blue Man Group about appearing in an episode. The collaboration grew to a popular storyline where Tobias longed to be a part of Blue Man Group, and, ultimately, his father “hid from the law” performing as a Blue Man in Las Vegas.
- Scrubs — Zach Braff and his team approached Blue Man Group to participate in a popular storyline in his hit show.
Blue Man Group has also performed original content on various high profile shows such as an appearance on The Grammy Awards (with Jill Scott and Moby), The Emmy Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, The Royal Variety Show (for Queen Elizabeth II), Wetten Das? in Germany, The Voice (Germany), Regis and Kathy Lee, Regis and Kelly, Ellen, and more…
Awards and nominations
- 1991 Obie Award (winner)
- 1992 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience (winner)
- 1999 Grammy Award for Audio (nominee)
- 2011 Off Broadway Alliance Awards' Audience Choice Award for Best Long-Running Show (winner)
- 2014 Drum! Magazine Readers Choice Award - Best Percussion Ensemble (winner)
- 2015 Drum! Magazine Readers Choice Award - Best Percussion Ensemble (winner)
There are a number of different themes found in various Blue Man performances. These themes include:
- Science and technology, especially the topics of plumbing, fractals, human sight, DNA, and the Internet.
- Information overload and information pollution, such as when the audience is asked to choose one of three simultaneous streams of information to read.
- Innocence, as when the Blue Men appear to be surprised and perplexed by common artifacts of modern society or by audience reactions.
- Self-conscious and naïve imitation of cultural norms, such as attempting to stage an elegant dinner for an audience member with Twinkies; or following the Rock Concert Instruction Manual (see below) with the expectation that following a series of instructions is all it takes to put on a rock concert.
- The Outsider. Blue Men always appear as a group of three. This is because not only are Blue Men viewed as outsiders to the rest of the world, but three is the smallest group possible wherein there can be a subgroup of more than one as well as a subgroup of one, the outsider. Many of the Blue Man skits involve one of the three Blue Men performing in a manner inconsistent with the other two.
- Rooftops, or otherwise climbing to the top. There are a number of references, both in visual pieces and in lyrics from the Complex tour, that have a common theme of getting to the roof. This theme is a metaphor for the advice Stanton, Wink, and Goldman drew from Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers's PBS program The Power of Myth and represents "Following your bliss."
- Überschall, a Las Vegas band consisting of past and present members of Blue Man Group
- Penn Jillette, a Blue Man affiliate and Las Vegas magician
- Village Voice 1990–1991 Obie awards. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Lucille Lortel Awards – Previous Nominees and Recipients. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Viki Goldberg, "Blue Man Joins the Vegas Collection, New York Times, April 30, 2000
- "Blue Man Group National Tour". January 21, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "Norwegian Introduces Norwegian Epic's Captains And Hotel Directors Unveils Inaugural Sailing Dates in Europe and U.S. Miami – Oct 15, 2009". http://www.ncl.com/.
- Lola Ogunnaike, "For the Blue Man Army, Recruitment Is on the Rise", New York Times, October 10, 2005
- BLUE MAN GROUP / Show in Berlin – English[dead link]
- "Blue men pack up bags". Official London Theatre Guide (Society of London Theatre). March 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- "Blue Man Group – "DIE SHOW SENSATION"". Bluemangroup.ch. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Cohen, David S. (September 8, 2008). "Blue Man Group heads to bigscreen". Variety.
- Cohen, David S. (September 15, 2009). "Blue Man, Nat Geo map 3D pic plans". Variety.
- "Off Broadway Alliance Awards". Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- Blue Man Group: Inside the Tube. PBS. 2006.
- "Blue Man Group: Color them cool"[dead link] – Orlando Sentinel, January 5, 2007
- "Toronto’s Blue Period?" – kapiTal magazine, December 2006
- "Who killed Blue Man Group?" – Toronto Star, September 29, 2006
- "Canuck unions blue over group" – Variety, June 16, 2005
- "The Business of Blue Man" – Fortune Small Business, March 2003
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Blue Man Group.|
- Official websites: General, Germany, Japan, Switzerland
- Blue Man Group at the Internet Movie Database
- Blue Man Group discography at MusicBrainz
- Unofficial fan community, including podcast feed
- Inc. Magazine profile