Blue Man Group

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Blue Man Group
Blue Man4 (SP) 2009 Brazil.JPG
Blue Man Group in Brazil in 2009
Formation 1991; 26 years ago (1991)[1]
Type Theatre group
Purpose Entertainment
Website and

The Blue Man Group is a performance art company formed in 1991.[1] It is best known for its creative stage productions around the world.

Blue Man Group currently has continuing theatrical productions in Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, New York City and Berlin, along with a North/South American Tour. Along with the theatre show, Blue Man Group has toured the globe with their “Megastar World Tour”, a rock concert parody, appeared on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship The Epic, released five albums, contributed to a number of film scores, performed with orchestras around the US, and appeared in advertising campaigns.

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 from 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 show caught the attention of US media.

Theatrical productions[edit]

Astor Place Theatre with marquee for the group

Current theatrical productions[edit]

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

Previous theatrical productions[edit]

United States
  • 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)[6]
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)[8]


  • 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; São 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 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. That performance did not materialise due to other tour and contractual obligations. A tour of South Africa was confirmed for early 2017.[citation needed]


Feature film[edit]

In September 2008, Variety reported that the original trio (Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton) would appear in a Blue Man Group IMAX 3D feature film, to be produced by Charlotte Huggins.[9] The film, titled Blue Man Group: Mind Blast, was to be directed by David Russo and released by National Geographic Entertainment.[10]


  • The Complex Rock Tour Live DVD (2003) – live concert footage taken from shows in Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Robots (2005) – performed on soundtrack for movie
  • Inside the Tube (2006) – one-hour documentary created 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 an additional audio CD of many of the show's songs.
  • Space Chimps (2008) – performed on soundtrack for movie
  • Scoring Reel – a scoring DVD only available in 2004



  • Intel – Blue Man Group appeared in advertisements for the Pentium III, Pentium 4, and Centrino line of processors.
  • TIM Brasil – Blue Man Group is the face of TIM Brasil, a telecommunications company in Brazil.


  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno — Blue Man Group appeared on the premiere of Leno's version of the Tonight Show, prompting him to state, "this is not your father's Tonight Show." They returned several times for performances, often including the audience and/or the celebrity guests (e.g. Robin Williams, Mel Gibson, etc.). One Blue Man Group episode won an Emmy for The Tonight Show.
  • Arrested Development — The show 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-in-law “hid from the law” performing as a Blue Man in Las Vegas.
  • Scrubs — Zach Braff approached Blue Man Group to participate in a popular storyline in his show.
  • The Drew Carey Show — During the episode "Drew Live III," the Blue Man Group experimented on Drew Carey as he slept on the train, making it look like he had sex with his nemesis, Mimi Bobeck. At the end of the show, it was revealed that their motive was for Drew to kill himself out of embarrassment so that they, along with John Ratzenberger, could take over the show.

Blue Man Group has also performed on various 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, dass...? (Germany), The Voice (Germany), Regis and Kathie Lee, Regis and Kelly and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The Blue Man Group also appeared on episode 7 of Season 12 of Celebrity Apprentice.

Blue Man Group performed in Star Awards 2016 (Show 1) in Singapore, a special variety programme of prize giving to the Singapore Artiste.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1991 Obie Award (winner)
  • 1992 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience (winner)
  • 1992 Lucille Lortel Special Award [1]
  • 2000 Grammy Award (nominee)
  • 2000 Eddy Award (design) [2]
  • 2010 OBIE Advertising Award [3]
  • 2011 Off Broadway Alliance Awards' Audience Choice Award for Best Long-Running Show (winner)[11]
  • 2012 International Emmy Award nomination for Arts Programming (nominee) [4]
  • 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:[12]

  • 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 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[12] 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".[12]

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


  1. ^ a b Official website
  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Viki. "Blue Man Joins the Vegas Collection, New York Times, April 30, 2000
  3. ^ "Blue Man Group National Tour". January 21, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Norwegian Introduces Norwegian Epic's Captains And Hotel Directors Unveils Inaugural Sailing Dates in Europe and U.S. Miami" (Press release). Norwegian Cruise Line. 15 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Ogunnaike, Lola. "For the Blue Man Army, Recruitment Is on the Rise", The New York Times, 10 October 2005.
  6. ^ BLUE MAN GROUP / Show in Berlin – English Archived June 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Blue men pack up bags". Official London Theatre Guide. Society of London Theatre. March 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Blue Man Group – "DIE SHOW SENSATION"". Retrieved 2009-11-23. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Cohen, David S. (September 8, 2008). "Blue Man Group heads to bigscreen". Variety. 
  10. ^ Cohen, David S. (September 15, 2009). "Blue Man, Nat Geo map 3D pic plans". Variety. 
  11. ^ "Off Broadway Alliance Awards". Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Blue Man Group: Inside the Tube. PBS. 2006. 


External links[edit]