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Bald, Bold and Blue


Bald, in black clothing, covered in blue paint -- these are the three most eye-catching features and characteristics of the Blue Man Group, a creative theatrical organization that features a trio of mute drum performers called the Blue Men. On tour with their latest show, "How To Be A Megastar," Zach, Wes, and Jeremy talked to VOA's Larry London about what the Blue Man Group is all about.

Blue grease paint and latex head covers bring new life to a vaudevillian concept of performing with actions and not words. Such is the case with the Blue Man Group, an idea conceived in the late-1980s in New York City by three friends. Today the Blue Man Group has expanded in many different directions.

"I think one of the most intriguing things about the Blue Man character,” says Wes, “is that he kind of comes out without any sort of context whatsoever. He goes through the process of figuring that out during the show, and that becomes the show. That process of figuring out what kind of show do they want to see here, and he stands and delivers there. There's a kind of a hero-clown dichotomy to the character where he doesn't know what he's going to do, but then his buddies are there to help him figure out the next move."

With live stage shows in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Berlin and Amsterdam, the Blue Man Group is always current with their show themes.

Artistic Director Michael "Puck" Quinn says the show's creative process is a real team effort. "I wish it was as easy as walking in one day, saying, 'Hey! There's this idea for this thing where they throw stuff and catch it in their mouths.' It doesn't really work that way. Somebody will walk in, and there's a group of people that come up with the material. Somebody will come in with a kernel of an idea and then we just do it."

"How to be a Megastar" takes the audience through a fun-filled workshop on how to create the perfect rock concert experience. Backed by an eight-piece band, Blue Man Jeremy says the silent trio relies on colorful artistic props and the audience's imagination to tell the story.

"Because the Blue Man doesn't speak, the audience is always laying their own story on it. I think a lot of the deeper themes – like being connected with people, and technology, and what that means in our world – is a global thing that people get and want to get an experience of," says Jeremy.

Appearing in a popular American TV commercial has brought more fame to the trio. Blue Man Zach explains. "I'd never imagine that it would be this well-received and this popular. I think we're just blessed with all the success. I mean, who would think that three guys getting bald and blue, not speaking and walking around doing stuff would, you know, touch so many people. But it does, and it's been a great ride. I hope that we can keep taking it to more places and more people, and have more people experience it. I think it's a great time. Everybody leaves having a great time.”

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