News / Arts & Entertainment

Blue Man Group Reinvents Itself Through Classical, World Music

Blue Man Group Reinvents Itself, With Musici
X
September 11, 2013 9:02 PM
They are blue. They are bald. They are iconic stars of Blue Man Group. Since their first show in New York some 20 years ago, the Blue Men have traveled the world, and millions have seen them in action - beating on drums and each other, performing silent skits and slapstick. Now the performers - in black - their hands and faces painted cobalt blue - were on stage with an orchestra and musicians from other countries for two sold-out nights. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles at the premiere of a new Blue Man Group show.]]
Elizabeth Lee
— They are blue.  They are bald.  They are the iconic stars of Blue Man Group. Since their first show in New York more than 20 years ago, they have traveled the world, and millions of people have seen the blue men in action - beating on drums and each other, creating music and comedy.  Now the performers - in black unitards, their hands and faced painted bright blue - are on stage with an orchestra and musicians from other countries.  

More than 25 million people around the world have seen Blue Man Group...but never like this...on a stage, performing an entire show with a full orchestra. Kate Evans, who has seen the original show, brought her family to see the new one.

“Loved the different combinations of music and the different instruments they brought in the fact that they stepped back a little bit and let other people shine was wonderful too," said Evans.

Around the world, from Asia to Europe, North America to South America, Blue Man Group presents a multimedia experience with a blend of percussion, rock and roll, world music - and the bald, blue men are the stars.  All in black, the blue men play music, but don’t speak. It doesn't matter to the audience - their actions create plenty of physical comedy that transcends words.   

Blue Man Group performs its newest show with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles.  Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins says in this show, the blue men learn how to play orchestral music.

“Part of the night for them is experimentation. Part of the night for them is about participation and collaboration with the group. But it really is designed around the music and the orchestra.  That’s a really cool thing and that’s very different for them too," he said.

Different, because the orchestra’s music becomes the focus.

“We hired an arranger to actually create music around the rhythmic stuff that is sort of in their [Blue Man’s]  natural mode of operation," said Wilkins.

The blue men not only share the stage with the orchestra, but also a kaleidoscope of musicians from around the world, including Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura playing the traditional Australian didgeridoo...and the Brazilian band, Monobloco.

Just like the original Blue Man Group show, the new blend of music and comedy will translate across cultures, says former Blue Man Philip Stanton, a co-founder of the group.

“I think Blue Man is there to help us celebrate our creativity, kind of celebrate our ability to collaborate and be a part of a group and our curiosity. That’s the other thing that Blue Man is first and foremost, so these things we consider to be essentially human worldwide. And so a blue man is kind of an expression of those things," said Stanton.

Victor Solomon watched the show with his family and says people of all ages responded to the show.

“Everybody was laughing, babies were laughing and old people were laughing it was very colorful," said Solomon.

Blue Man Group hopes this new show will lead to more shows in other cities with orchestras from around the world.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."