Blue Man Group will bring its first-ever theatrical tour, created and written by BMG co-founders Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink, to the Durham Performing Arts Center on March 15-20 for eight performances in DPAC‘s 2,800-seat, state-of-the-art theater, in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. This high-octane 90-minute avant-garde performance-art piece, which will be performed without intermission by three mute men in black wearing blue grease paint over their faces and latex bald caps, will feature new material as well as classic routines, performed on percussive, often idiosyncratic musical instruments. DPAC is presenting Blue Man Group as part of its 2010-11 SunTrust Broadway Series.
After a previous close encounter with the Blue Men, Phoebe Nir of The High 5 Review wrote: “Don’t let this blue face [paint] scare you. They are a gentle species…. This is the simple formula that has allowed the Blue Man Group to conduct one of the most successful and inventive social psychology experiments in the world of theater consistently for nearly two decades. There’s no tinfoil, let alone CGI [computer-generated imagery], but when the Blue Men get into costume, they become aliens, and through their eyes, we are able to see the strangeness of our own world.”
In addition to Messrs. Goldman, Stanton, and Wink, the Blue Man Group tour’s creative team includes associate director Marcus Miller, production designer Joel Moritz, video designer Caryl Glaab, costume designer Chase Tyler, sound designer Matt Koenig, and music supervisor Todd Perlmutter.
According to Blue Man Group’s press kit:
“Blue Man Group is best known for its widely popular theatrical shows and concerts that combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at the live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience.
“Currently, Blue Man Group theatrical shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, Tokyo, and on tour throughout Europe. In Fall 2010, a touring production of the theatrical show [began] its journey around the U.S. [in Fayetteville, Arkansas].
“Audiences have multiple opportunities to discover Blue Man Group through the scope and variety of its creative projects, including:
- “Blue Man Group’s satirical rock concert, Megastar World Tour, which has toured over 10 countries, introducing millions to the playful, exuberant Blue Man and his universal language of comedy.
- “Blue Man Group’s original music, including the Grammy-nominated ‘Audio,’ as well as four additional albums, and numerous scoring projects for film, TV, and commercials.
- “Blue Man Group’s multiple performances on popular television shows such as ‘The Tonight Show,’ ‘Ellen,’ and ‘Regis & Kelly’; and unique storylines in ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Arrested Development.’
- “Blue Man Group family-focused educational projects, including a touring Children’s Museum exhibit, ‘Making Waves.’
- “Blue Man Group’s headlining performance on the new Norwegian Epic by Norwegian Cruise Line — the official cruise line of Blue Man Group.
- “An upcoming Blue Man Group IMAX film, Blue Man Group: Mind Blast[, directed by David Russo,] gives the Blue Man an entirely new environment to explore, slated to arrive in theatres in 2011….
- “A national open casting initiative is ongoing to find individuals with the unique qualities to be a Blue Man; men and women with height between 5’10” and 6’1″ tall (athletic build), solid drumming skills, excellent acting skills, and a willingness to relocate. Currently, there are approximately 90 Blue Men in cities from the United States to Europe to Asia.
- “To date, over 17 million people across the globe have seen a live Blue Man Group performance.”
“As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media, appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. Learn more at http://www.blueman.com/.”
Also according to Blue Man Group’s press kit:
“Longtime friends Chris Wink, Philip Stanton, and Matt Goldman founded Blue Man Group [in 1987] as a way to celebrate the human spirit through music, science, art, and theatre. After giving more than 1,000 performances in New York, the original three Blue Men stepped off-stage to focus on building Blue Man Productions into a successful global creative company.
“What started as a three-person operation has expanded into a decades-long partnership, encompassing live theater, Grammy Award®-winning original music, two rock concert tours, various children’s educational offerings including the founding of the Blue School, and multiple appearances on major television shows. Their initial concept continues to flourish — most recently with the development of a new partnership production with Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as the production of [the] new IMAX 3-D film [mentioned above].”
Blue Man Group: Tubes made its Off-Broadway debut on November 17, 1991 at Astor Place Theatre, where it is still running. The show won a 1990-91 OBIE Award Special Citation, a 1992 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and a 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite Long-Running Off-Broadway Show.
WARNING: On its website, the Durham Performing Arts Center cautions: “[Blue Man Group is] Not recommended for children under the age of 8. Everyone must have a ticket regardless of age; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theater.”
SECOND OPINION: March 17th Raleigh.BroadWayworld.com review by Shane Hudson: http://raleigh.broadwayworld.com/article/Blue_Man_Group_Rocks_Durham_20110317; March 17th Durham, NC Herald-Sun review by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/12377207/article-Blue-Man-Group-an–out-there–experience?instance=main_article (Note: You must register first to read this article); March 17th Duke University Chronicle review by Sanette Tanaka: http://dukechronicle.com/article/blue-man-group-lights-dpac-color; March 16th Raleigh, NC WRAL-TV interview with General Judd and David Traver: http://www.wral.com/entertainment/video/9276818/#/vid9276818; and March 12th Burlington, NC Times-News preview by Charity Apple: http://www.thetimesnews.com/articles/durham-41966-plans-shows.html. (Note: To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the March 17th Triangle Theater Review review by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2011/03/the-blue-man-group-is-a-blast-at-dpac/.)
Durham Performing Arts Center presents BLUE MAN GROUP at 7:30 p.m. March 15-17, 8 p.m. March 18, 2 and 8 p.m. March 19, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 20 at DPAC, in the American Tobacco District, at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.
TICKETS: $25.75-$83.50 (including fees).
DPAC Box Office: 919/680-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticketmaster: 800/982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/843991.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919/281-0587, email@example.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/default.asp?dpac=52.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.youtube.com/officialbluemangroup.
DPAC‘S SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.dpacnc.com/default.asp?dpac=21.
Blue Man Group: http://www.blueman.com/ (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Man_Group (Wikipedia), http://www.lortel.org/LLA_archive/index.cfm?search_by=show&title=Blue Man Group: Tubes (Internet Off-Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1292489/ (Internet Movie Database).
The Tour: http://www.blueman.com/nationaltour/ (official web page).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.