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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."