Theatre

Monday, 16 October 2017 12:08

BLUE MAN GROUP CELEBRATES 20th BIRTHDAY!

With two decades in its home at Lakeview’s Briar Street Theater under its belt, Blue Man Group is still going strong. The show can best be described as a bizarre, performance-arty take on STOMP, with both running about 90 minutes without an intermission, both featuring silent performers, both utilizing homemade percussion instruments, and both inciting audiences to go, “What the hell did I just see?”

Blue Man Group was founded in New York in 1991 by three friends: Chris Wink, an artist and drummer, Phil Stanton, a DIY designer and builder, and Matt Goldman, an entrepreneur and software developer. All three have been nominated for Grammys for their musical work on Blue Man Group.

Even after twenty years, Blue Man Group’s uniqueness keeps people coming back. For a show that has become such a staple, it is still unlike any of its theatrical peers, i.e. musicals, plays, operas. And for good reason. What other mainstream theatrical production features paintings created live onstage, quirky feats like seeing a performer catch dozens of marshmallows in his mouth, surprisingly funny, albeit silent, sketches with deer-in-the-headlights audience participants, and tons of cool, otherwordly, Pink Floyd-esque music being played live right in front of you?

A rundown of the materials used for each show should give some idea (or not) as to what a BMG audience is in for. Each week the three Blue Men go through the following materials: 32 pounds of Jell-O, 8 boxes of Cap'n Crunch, 385 marshmallows, 40 pieces of white chocolate Toblerone, 44 boxes of Twinkie Lights, 60 drum heads, 64 drumsticks, and 28 cakes of blue makeup made specially for BMG -- they even have their own proprietary color called "Blue Man Blue."

The 20th birthday performance featured some minor add-ons from the regular BMG show. One of the pieces of art created live onstage during the show via paint being spit out of one of the Blue Men’s mouths revealed “20!” in big white text, while there were lots of treats for the audience like tote-bags, various SWAG, and custom Sprinkles cupcakes.

It's clear why the indefinable show has continued to dazzle audiences across the country for twenty years, and as long as this city remains a vibrant hub for entertainment, Blue Man Group will have a welcome home in Chicago.

You can catch Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theater at 3133 N Halsted St on Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets on Ticketmaster.

Published in Theatre Reviews

Blue Man Group, the critically hailed theatrical phenomenon with an open run at the Briar Street Theatre, will celebrate 20 years in Chicago Thursday, October 12 with a special birthday performance at 8 p.m. Guests of the celebration will enjoy a few surprises during the show that will coincide with the special milestone as well as receive commemorative cupcakes from Sprinkles Cupcakes after the performance.
 
Since its Briar Street Theatre debut in 1997, Blue Man Group Chicago has:

*Entertained more than 4,600,000 people with 10,493 performances
*Held five autism-friendly performances in collaboration with Autism Speaks
*Used 965,365 ponchos and 17,694 boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal
*Awarded $45,000 to emerging artists though two Blue Man Group art competitions

Blue Man Group performances are a celebration of human connection. Mixing art, music, comedy and state-of-the-art technology, the show encourages audiences to reconnect with their inner (and outer) child and see the world through a new perspective.  Three bald and blue men explore our cultural norms with wonder, poking fun at our collective quirks and reminding us how much we all have in common. Backed by a live rock band, the Blue Men unify the audience for the show’s celebratory climax - an unforgettable, euphoric dance party.
 
Blue Man Group is continually refreshed with new music, fresh stories and custom instruments. It's a joyful, multi-sensory experience that has performed in over 20 countries and has captivated more than 35 million people of all ages and cultures worldwide.
 
About Blue Man Group
 
Blue Man Productions is a global entertainment company best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. A dynamic combination of art, music, comedy and technology, the show’s euphoric celebration of human connection has universal appeal for a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. The show is continually refreshed with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology. Blue Man Group has permanent theatrical productions in New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Berlin and a World Tour.
 
This creative collective has become part of the pop culture zeitgeist. Blue Man Group has served as the face of branding campaigns for Intel and TIM/Brasil and appeared countless times on hit shows like “The Tonight Show,” “Arrested Development,” “Ellen,” “Schlag den Raab” (Germany), “WOWOW” (Japan), and “Caldeirão do Huck” (Brasil).
 
Beyond the stage show, they are Grammy-nominated recording artists, known for their contributions to various film and TV scores and multiple Blue Man Group albums, including their most recent, THREE.  Their “Megastar World Tour” rock concert parody played arenas across the globe. The group’s recently published first-ever book, Blue Man World, is a visually stunning anthropological exploration of the curious bald and blue character.
 
Blue Man Group Ticket Information
 
Tickets are available from $39-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or via the Internet at http://www.ticketmaster.com/bluemangroup. For a full show schedule and ticket pricing, please visit www.blueman.com/chicago.
 
Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more, varying from $46- $69 per person. For groups of 10 or more, call the group sales department to book at: 773.348.3300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request information.

 

Published in Upcoming Theatre

There’s something new going on at Briar Street Theater! The Blue Man Group has made some new and exciting additions to their already beloved and ever-changing show. The fixture of Blue Man Group in Chicago entertainment has built a twenty-plus-year tradition that has grown to include generations of families, international acclaim (with shows Berlin, Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Amsterdam and Oberhausen) and fans all around the world. Unique to Chicago, at the intimate setting of Briar Street Theater in Lakeview, “Left”, “Middle” and “Right”, as our three Blue performers are called by their stage location, play with guests’ perceptions, develop an even closer audience relationship and bring out the little kid in everyone. You will shriek in delight (or even fear), laugh until in your sides hurt, and awe at the thrill of the Blue.

 

The dedication of the Blue Man Group crew guarantees that everyone has a unique experience when a participant in their show. Whether you are familiar with the tubes, massive drums and electric paint or maybe you haven’t been so up close and personal to such funky dudes of the like, no matter your Blue Man experience, veteran or newbie, this is a production that is sure to entertain any theater attendee. As always, the Blue experience is divulged to you through the sounds of music. You will remember the familiar and fall in love with the new. Have you ever used a GiPad? Among new songs, their live band and new technological additions, the Blue Man Group pulls you deeper into their own world experience and farther away from your phones.

 

Tom Galassi (Captain and Assistant Director), Jeff Quay (Associate Music Director) and one of the six primary Blue Men, “Boomer”, take pride in the new changes they’ve made and the show has become more encompassing of our current state of the world. A grand finale brings all people together with the love of music; standing and dancing and moving unified to the same song. The production also brings awareness to our attention to the digital world, in a comical, therapeutic way, perhaps slightly violent, but all with a Blue-branded sense of humor. The Blue Man group continues to be exciting, thrilling and always challenging to your perceptions. Locals, families, school groups and tourists all flock towards the light of the Blue. The new additions are not to be missed by anyone of any age, strengthening what was already a unique experience. Though be warned - don’t be late! You never know what they’ll do to you as you wander down that aisle.  

 

Blue Man Group has been a staple in Chicago for over two decades and there is a reason its popularity has not slowed down. The reason is simple. Blue Man Group has been, and will continue to be, a theater event like no other. Caution should be had when choosing seats. Although ponchos are provided, the first five rows put audience members at risk with getting doused, or splattered, with wet paint depending on your location.

 

Blue Man Group is performed at Briar Street Theater. For tickets and/or more show information, click here.  

 

Published in Theatre in Review

 

 

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