Blue Man Group — Off-Broadway

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Blue Man Group — Off-Broadway YouTube video show preview.

What: Blue Man Group Show
How Long:
1 hr, 45 mins.
(1 Intermission)
Average Weekly Schedule:
SATURDAY 2:00PM 5:00PM 8:00PM
SUNDAY 2:00PM 5:00PM 8:00PM

Blue Man Group "Tubes/Rewired" in New York at the Astor Place Theatre (1991–present)

Blue Man Group is a creative organization founded by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Phil's brother Matt Stanton. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia; recorded music and scores for film and television; television appearances for shows such as The Tonight Show, Las Vegas, Scrubs, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, and Arrested Development; and a children's museum exhibit ("Making Waves"). All of the organization's appearances star a trio of performers called Blue Men, who appear to have blue skin and no voice, hair, or ears. The original founding Blue Man Group no longer perform and have since taken on administrative roles in the company. Because of the success of Blue Man Group, a parent company called Blue Man Productions was created, which produces all the Blue Man Group shows in the world. Blue Man Group currently has a staff of over 50 people.

The organization's visual productions are centered on a trio of anonymous mute performers, called Blue Men, who appear in black clothing and blue grease paint over latex bald caps and play a mixture of idiosyncratic, often percussive, instruments. Blue Men are performers of either gender who meet specific physical requirements (athletic build, height between 5'10"-6'1"/1.78-1.85 m), specific performing talents (percussion, acting, non-verbal communication), and certain personality traits (openness, charisma, willingness to collaborate), among other qualifications.

Wink and Goldman had become friends when they bonded as the "new kids" in a Manhattan (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 transplant from Savannah, Georgia. Formed in 1987 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. It is not clear how much influence the Brazilian band Uakti had on the founders, although Uakti's Marco Antônio Guimarães had been building tuned PVC instruments (struck with foam paddles) since the late 1970s. Uakti was introduced to US audiences just about the same time as Blue Man Group was forming, through Paul Simon, The Manhattan Transfer and composer Philip Glass.

Meryl Vladimer, the Artistic Director of The Blue Man Group CLUB, 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 snowball, resulting in a performance at Lincoln Center titled "Serious Fun", and eventually 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.
Blue Man Group won a special citation in the 1990-1991 Village Voice Obie Awards, and a special award in the 1992 Lucille Lortel Awards,which are for excellence in off Broadway theatre.
Early in the history of the Blue Man Group, the members would speak with audiences after the show while still in makeup, answering questions, signing autographs, and talking about the show. Eventually, however, it was decided that cast members would stay in character at all times while in makeup, meaning after shows they would still not speak to audience members, and the only "autograph" they would sign would be a smudge of blue paint. When shown a "new" piece of technology, such as a cell phone or even an old pair of binoculars, they will simply stare at it in wonder.

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