Blue Man Group

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"Blue man" redirects here. For the novel by Kin Platt, see The Blue Man. For the film, see The Blue Man (film). For the horse, see Blue Man (horse).
Blue Man Group
Formation 1991[1]
Type Theatre group
Purpose Entertainment,
Location
  • New York City
Website http://www.blueman.com/ and http://www.DareToLiveInFullColor.com/

Blue Man Group is an award-winning global entertainment company, best known for its wildly creative, vibrant and exuberant stage productions around the world. The Blue Man Group show is a unique combination of music, comedy and technology that defies categorization. Nearly 35 million people have experienced the Blue Man Group show over the last 24 years and the production is continually updated to keep it fresh and relevant to new audiences.

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 prestigious 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 with reviews such as “A Sensation!” (TIME Magazine) “One of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged” (The New York Times), “The perfect entertainment…So much fun it must be experienced to be believed.” (Chicago Tribune) and “Blue Man Group is what every live performance aspires to be” (E! Entertainment News).[2]

History[edit]

Wink and Goldman became friends when they bonded as the "new kids" in a New York City junior high school. In college, however, the two went separate ways: Wink to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and Goldman to Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. After college in 1984, Wink and Goldman reunited in NYC and later, in 1986, met Stanton, a recent transfer from Savannah, Georgia. Formed in 1987 as a salute to the 1980s by Goldman, Stanton, and Wink, The Blue Man Group played around Manhattan in such venues as Central Park, the Performing Garage, Dixon Place and PS 122.[3][4]

Astor Place Theatre with marquee for the group

Meryl Vladimer, the artistic director of The Club @ La MaMa, saw their work as part of a variety show hosted by the Alien Comic (Tom Murrin) and commissioned Blue Man Group to create a full-length show. The resulting piece, Tubes, took off after Vladimer persuaded New York Times theater critic Stephen Holden to review it. Blue Man Group's popularity continued to increase following performances at Lincoln Center's summer Serious Fun Festival, and winning an Obie Award and a Lucille Lortel Award, which led producers to take the show to off-Broadway. Tubes opened in 1991 at the Astor Place Theater in New York City. Besides the three Blue Men, the show featured musicians Larry Heineman, Ian Pai and Brian Dewan, with scenery by Kevin Joseph Roach and lighting by Brian Aldous.[5][6] In 1996, the group hired inventor/musician Jimmy Cook to design and build experimental musical instruments for new shows in Boston and Chicago as well as appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Cook was a member of the group until 1999.

Blue Man Group won a special citation in the 1990–1991 Village Voice Obie Awards,[7] and a special award in the 1992 Lucille Lortel Awards, which are for excellence in off-Broadway theatre.[8]

Theatrical productions[edit]

Current theatrical productions[edit]

United States
Germany
  • Berlin at the Bluemax Theater (February 1, 2006–present)
Norwegian Cruise Line

Previous theatrical productions[edit]

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)[5]
Germany
  • 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)[12]
Canada
United Kingdom
Netherlands
  • Amsterdam at the Theater Fabriek (December 2006 – September 30, 2007)
Japan
  • 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)
Switzerland
  • Basel at Musical Theater Basel (October 25, 2008 – January 11, 2009)
  • Zürich at Theater 11 (January 17, 2010 – May 2, 2010)[14]
Sweden
Austria

Australia

  • Sydney at the Sydney Lyric Theatre (August 2013 - October 2013; rest of Australian tour to Perth and Melbourne cancelled)

Music and tours[edit]

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.

In 2002, the group participated in Moby's Area2 tour, giving a more rock-oriented performance than in the theatrical shows. Songs developed during this tour appeared on 2003's album The Complex.

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.

In 2008, the group collaborated on the track "No More Heroes" with the Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto for the remixed version of the Elements of Life album.

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.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

  • Audio
  • The Complex
  • Exhibit 13
  • I Feel Love
  • Live at the Venetian
  • The Current
  • Canta Conmingo
  • Shake Your Euphemism

Feature film[edit]

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.[15] The film, titled Blue Man Group: Mind Blast, was to be directed by David Russo and released by National Geographic Entertainment.[16]

Videography[edit]

  • 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.

Television[edit]

Advertising[edit]

  • 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.

Programming[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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)[17]
  • 2014 Drum! Magazine Readers Choice Award - Best Percussion Ensemble (winner)
  • 2015 Drum! Magazine Readers Choice Award - Best Percussion Ensemble (winner)

Themes[edit]

There are a number of different themes found in various Blue Man performances. These themes include:[18]

  • 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[18] 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."[18]

See also[edit]

  • 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

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.blueman.com
  2. ^ E! Entertainment News
  3. ^ "Topic Galleries". CTnow. 
  4. ^ "BMP on". Answers.com. 
  5. ^ a b Lola Ogunnaike, "For the Blue Man Army, Recruitment Is on the Rise", New York Times, October 10, 2005
  6. ^ Vicki Goldberg, "High Tech Meets Goo With Blue Man Group", New York Times, November 17, 1991
  7. ^ Village Voice 1990–1991 Obie awards. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
  8. ^ Lucille Lortel Awards – Previous Nominees and Recipients. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Viki Goldberg, "Blue Man Joins the Vegas Collection, New York Times, April 30, 2000
  10. ^ "Blue Man Group National Tour". January 21, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ "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/. 
  12. ^ BLUE MAN GROUP / Show in Berlin – English[dead link]
  13. ^ "Blue men pack up bags". Official London Theatre Guide (Society of London Theatre). March 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  14. ^ "Blue Man Group – "DIE SHOW SENSATION"". Bluemangroup.ch. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  15. ^ Cohen, David S. (September 8, 2008). "Blue Man Group heads to bigscreen". Variety. 
  16. ^ Cohen, David S. (September 15, 2009). "Blue Man, Nat Geo map 3D pic plans". Variety. 
  17. ^ "Off Broadway Alliance Awards". Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c Blue Man Group: Inside the Tube. PBS. 2006. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]