Blue Man Group marches to own beat
Iconic show coming to Honeywell, Niswonger
From their onstage melodic antics to their witty interactions with audience members, Blue Man Group has brought eccentric and percussive performances to fans for over three decades.
Attendees at two upcoming area shows may get a shot to interact with the painted trio when they come to Honeywell Center on Tuesday, March 22, and Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert on Sunday, May 8.
Blue Man Group captain Adam Zuick says audiences should expect some fresh takes on the classic show.
“The great thing about this show that we’re touring right now is it’s a brand-new version of our show,” Zuick told Whatzup in an interview. “So it’s got a couple of main hits that Blue Man Group fans will enjoy seeing, but we’ve got a whole bunch of new instruments and new pieces coming out that no one’s ever seen, and we’re really excited to show it to audiences.”
Even newcomers to Blue Man Group will enjoy the unorthodox performances.
“If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group before, it’s definitely an experience that is tough to describe,” Zuick said. “But after you come and see it, you’re going to want to see it over and over again. It’s an interactive experience where there’s three blue men who don’t speak audibly, and they use different means to try and communicate and interact with the audience.
“So they’ll play music or they’ll create art or they’ll bring them up on stage,” he added. “And they’ll have different antics that they do with audience members to try and create an experience unlike anything else that they’ve ever experienced before, and create kind of a child-like wonder that we don’t get to experience as a normal kind of adult in life.”
Keeping Show Fresh
When people think of Blue Man Group, they may only picture three painted drummers who don’t speak. While this may be true, it is only a fraction of the escapade.
“Music is a big part of Blue Man Group,” Zuick said. “But I think one part that people don’t realize is that interaction part of the show: how the audience is the ‘fourth Blue Man.’ We use them throughout the entire show.
“I think that’s the main thing that people don’t realize going into the show: how funny it’s going to be, and how interactive and fun it is.”
Although active more than 30 years, Blue Man Group’s content is anything but stale. The narrative told in the upcoming shows is a take on technological concerns and ideas.
“This show itself, the set and everything, is very technological,” Zuick said. “And so, we even have a number called ‘Audience Probe,’ and ‘Data Collection’ is right before that, and it really is kind of similar to what happens with electronics nowadays.”
Getting in on Act
The interactive aspect of the show plays into the data collection theme.
“You know, they’re always looking at what information they can kind of get from you, and how they can store that and use that, and the Blue Men kind of end up doing a similar thing where we go out into the audience and we kind of survey the audience, we get all of this information from them, and then we use it during the next number to create this musical piece with that data we have collected from the audience,” Zuick said.
“So we try to stay up to date with that kind of stuff, stuff that relates to life nowadays, because, you know, people do know that that’s going on, and so kind of playing humor into it. People realize that and then find it very funny.”
Because the show features a significant amount of audience participation, the performances differ from night to night.
“They respond differently, the audience members that we bring up on stage are always random,” Zuick said. “We pick them every night, just vibing out just kind of who we think is going to be fun to have onstage and play around with us. And so the fun part about Blue Man Group is you just never really know what’s going to happen, because there are certain numbers that we’re supposed to do, and everything of course, but a lot of it is kind of improv and goes with the flow of the audience.”
Zuick auditioned for Blue Man Group in 2012 in New York City after moving there to pursue an acting career.
“I was a musical theater performer for the most part before that, and saw a listing for Blue Man Group, that they were auditioning,” he said. “I saw that they were kind of looking for character actors that were athletic and that also had kind of a music background.”
Although he had not heard much about Blue Man Group, Zuick soon realized the depth of the group’s skill and wit.
“It was the weirdest audition I’ve ever gone through, in the coolest way,” he said. “And every step of the way I was just blown away by what Blue Man Group was.”
“I still, to this day, am shocked that I’m doing the show. It’s still a mind-blowing thing and every time I see the show I’m just blown away.”