Wednesday, 25 January 2012 10:22
Blue Man Group In New Orleans will Cure The Blues
 

blue-manAccording to at least one account, longtime friends Matt Goldman and Chris Wink and their new friend Phil Stanton were sitting around trying to decide what to call their nascent, vaudeville-like, high-tech comedy act, and what kind of gimmick could be utilized to make them stand out above the pack. After much brainstorming and pooling of ideas, a colorful concept was born. The trio would color themselves in blue and call themselves the Blue Man Group. Simple but effective, it turned out to be a winning formula.

Identical in their blue-painted skin, skullcaps, and black clothing, Blue Man Group was founded in 1987. They soon became a fixture of the New York underground performance art scene thanks to their regular appearances in Central Park and other highly visible Big Apple venues. Soon to be celebrating their 25th anniversary, Blue Man Group can attribute its longevity to an ever-changing, ever-evolving repertoire of skits and actions that keeps audiences around the world enthralled and in awe over what the guys might come up with next.

Blue Man Group takes its show on the road to New Orleans, courtesy of Broadway Across America, from January 31 through February 5. There will be a total of eight shows, on Tuesday through Sunday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoon matinees. Good seats are still available at the production’s venue, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in Louis Armstrong Park.

Utilizing the latest in digital and lighting technology, Blue Man Group is an amalgam of music, dance, magic, illusion, imagination and, of course, the requisite skills to perform these incredible feats. They catch gumballs in their mouths at great distances and fast speeds. They stir up a shower of colorful paint as they beat on plastic paint buckets. They juggle optical illusions at dizzying speed. They make music on instruments they devise themselves from ordinary PVC plumbing pipes and perform dozens of other astounding, eye-popping gimmicks, all accompanied by flashing lights and bizarre imagery. And all without uttering a single word during their shows!

Described by one source as “Equal parts play, concert, and sketch routine, the Blue Man Group combines sight gags, physical stunts, and audience participation.” Spectators in the front rows of their shows are given plastic rain ponchos as protection from the hail of paint, food, and other assorted projectiles launched from the stage.

In 1991, just four years after their founding, Blue Man Group won an Obie Award for their off-Broadway production of “Tubes.” Recording contracts and international acclaim soon followed. In that same year, 1991, Blue Man Group began a run at the off-Broadway Astor Place Theatre that continues to this day, twenty years later.

All shows are an hour and a half in length with no intermission. Content is appropriate for all ages. Showtimes are as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 31 at 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 2 at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 4 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 5 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets call Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-ARTS (2787) or order from their website, www.ticketmaster.com. You can also call the Mahalia Jackson Theater box office at 504-287-0351or visit their website, http://mahaliajacksontheater.com/ticket-info/box-office.

For more information about Blue Man Group visit their website at www.blueman.com. To view a sample video of them in action and being interviewed in street clothes, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLC6849FB1858A3311&v=giGbBw0iJH8&feature=player_embedded#!

by Dean Shapiro

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