follow me on facebook follow me on Twitter follow me on YouTube  Concert Reviews - Photo Spreads - Tour News - Breaking News - Photo Gallery - Videos - Podcast Interviews - My Account
Band Encyclopedia - Live Music Venues - Press Releases - Music Blog Aggregator - Media Store - Staff & Contributors - Contact Us


Search

From The Artists Catalog

Band-opedia

[ Back | Home | Login ]

"Blue Man Group"   Bookmark and Share

Blue Man Group. (2009, January 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:57, January 20, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blue_Man_Group&oldid=265181744

Blue Man Group is a creative organization founded by Phil Stanton, Chris Wink and Matt Goldman. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia; recorded music and scores for film and television; television appearances for shows such as The Tonight Show, Scrubs, and Arrested Development; and a children's museum exhibit ("Making Waves").[1] All of the organization's appearances star a trio of performers called Blue Men.

The organization's visual productions are centered on a trio of anonymous mute performers, called Blue Men, who appear in black clothing and blue grease paint over latex bald caps and play a mixture of idiosyncratic, often percussive, instruments. Blue Men are performers of either gender who meet specific physical requirements (athletic build, height between 5'10"-6'1"/1.78-1.85 m), specific performing talents (percussion, acting, non-verbal communication), and certain personality traits (openness, charisma, willingness to collaborate), among other qualifications.[2]

The Blue Man can be considered a type of homologue, a creature approximating a real male human being. The strongest and most obvious Blue Man characteristic is his static appearance, namely, the ear-less, bright blue head and face, and nondescript, utilitarian clothing. In action, the Blue Man does not speak and his face is usually expressionless, although suggestions of curiosity, surprise, wonder, chagrin, etc. are sometimes visible. The Blue Man does not communicate through speech or broad body language or gestures; rather, he communicates through intense eye contact and simple gestures. He acts impulsively and primarily as a group of three, "checking in" with the other two when making decisions and before moving to their next action. The Blue Man's outwardly apparent motivations are often presented in mild caricature in order to make a humorous and/or ironic point to the audience. Additionally, the Blue Man is inscrutably motivated to drum. They even have their own hand gesture, called the "Blue Man Salute", made by raising both arms in the air when they do so. These characteristics provide a character free of stereotypes or race and allow all members of the audience to identify with them equally.

Meryl Vladimer, the Artistic Director of The CLUB, saw their work and commissioned Blue Man Group to create a full-length show. The resulting piece, Tubes, took off after Vladimer persuaded New York Times theater critic Stephen Holden to review it. Blue Man Group's popularity continued to snowball, resulting in a performance at Lincoln Center, titled "Serious Fun", and eventually winning an Obie Award and a Lucille Lortel Award, which led producers to take the show to off-Broadway. Tubes opened in 1991 at the Astor Place Theater in New York City.[3][4]

Blue Man Group won a special citation in the 1990-1991 Village Voice Obie Awards,[5] and a special award in the 1992 Lucille Lortel Awards, which are for excellence in off Broadway theatre.[6]

Early in the history of the group, the members would speak with audiences after the show while still in makeup, answering questions, signing autographs, and talking about the show.[citation needed] Eventually, however, it was decided that cast members would stay in character at all times while in makeup, meaning after shows they would still not speak to audience members, and the only "autograph" they would sign would be a smudge of blue paint. When shown a "new" piece of technology, such as a cell phone or even an old pair of binoculars, they will simply stare at it in wonder.

Blue Man Group is in the midst of an International Blue Man Theatrical Tour which started in Stuttgart, and will continue on to Basel, Switzerland, Spain, France, and Austria for approximately four to six month runs. Unlike The Complex Rock Tour and the How to Be a Megastar tours, the International Blue Man Theatrical Tour will actually showcase the theatrical show currently performed in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

In 1999, the group released their first audio recording, appropriately titled Audio. Although it contained some of the music from their stage productions, it was less of a soundtrack and more a collection of full-length instrumentals that featured new instruments.

In 2002, the group participated in Moby's Area2 tour, giving a more rock-oriented performance than in the theatrical shows. Songs developed during this tour appeared on 2003's album The Complex.

Unlike Audio, The Complex featured a variety of vocalists and guests including Tracy Bonham, Dave Matthews, Gavin Rossdale and Venus Hum. The record spawned its own 2003 tour, the first headlined by Blue Man Group. The tour deconstructed the traditional rock concert experience into its often clich├ęd parts and was chronicled in a 2004 DVD release. The tour featured Tracy Bonham and Venus Hum as supporting acts. The DVD included a surround sound mix of some of the studio recordings.

Blue Man Group launched its second tour, The "How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0", on September 26, 2006. The tour added some new material to material from the original Complex Rock Tour, and had Tracy Bonham as an opening act and vocalist. DJ/VJ Mike Relm was the opening act for the second leg of this tour, which ended April 22, 2007 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. This third leg of the tour began in May 2007 and included performances in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile. The fourth leg, using "2.1" in its title, included more U.S. and Canada dates. Following that, the Megastar World Tour visited France, Korea, Canada, Germany, and a few other European countries throughout 2008.

There are a number of different themes found in various Blue Man performances. These themes include:[10]

The Rock Concert Instruction Manual, used by Blue Man Group in The Complex Rock Tour and the How to Be a MegaStar Tours 2.0 and 2.1, is a satire of the conventions of rock music. The manual describes in simple steps how one can gain fame and fortune by becoming a rock star. Parts of the manual are also used in Blue Man Group's theatrical shows.

The Rock Concert Instruction Manual is bought at the beginning of the How to Be a MegaStar show from a fake infomercial, using an audience member's credit card. (In compensation, the audience member later receives a marshmallow sculpture that was in one Blue Man's mouth). The Manual is narrated by a monotone male's voice (Todd Perlmutter) who directs their actions step-by-step, from creating their persona to ending the show.

In September 2008, Variety reported that the original trio (Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton) would star in a Blue Man Group IMAX 3D feature film, to be produced by Charlotte Huggins.[27]

As the shows evolved, Blue Man Group developed a set of custom musical instruments, many designed from the observation that common materials, such as PVC pipes, make interesting noises when struck.

None of the people who work for Blue Man Group are members of a union. There have been labor actions in Toronto and Las Vegas. In March 2007 the AFL-CIO placed Blue Man Group on its "Don't Buy List" for union members and their families.[28]

Announcing their debut in Toronto, Ontario in 2005, Blue Man Group attracted considerable controversy for opting not to use unionized workers for their show, which many labor groups regarded as being highly unusual for a show of its size in Canada. Their June 20, 2005 premiere in Toronto was picketed by members of the Canadian Actors' Equity Association, the Toronto Musicians' Association, and two locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. The Ontario Teacher's Union also joined in the boycott, which essentially eliminated any business from school trips and student matinees. The show closed after 18 months, staging its final show on January 7, 2007.[29] The Toronto Star reported that the closing was due primarily to the show's union difficulties and to the lack of novelty of the show itself.[30]

In September 2005, Blue Man Group moved from Luxor, where they had a union contract, to The Venetian, electing not to keep the contract. Stagehands who went from the Luxor venue to the Venetian started an organizing campaign with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes in Las Vegas, leading to a vote in May 2006. Before the vote, Matt Goldman, a co-founder of Blue Man Group, pledged to honor the results "in accordance with the great democratic traditions of our country."[29]

In the May 2006 election, the stagehands voted to be represented by IATSE Local 720.[31] In June the National Labor Relations Board certified the results.[29] The winning election permitted the employees to start bargaining a contract with Blue Man Productions. After the election, Blue Man Group refused to go to negotiate, arguing that the election was not valid because it did not include a half-dozen musical technicians.[31]

In June, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB sided with the union. The company filed a challenge, sending the case to full hearings before the Board in Washington DC. In September 2006 the NLRB rejected the challenge, ordering bargaining to begin.[29]

In September 2006, Blue Man Group sued to have the NLRB ruling overturned. In October, the NLRB filed a petition for enforcement of its order.[29] (D.C. Cir. Nos. 06-1328 & 06-1341 NLRB v. Blue Man Vegas, LLC Board Case Nos. 28-CA-20868 and 28-RC-6440).[32]

On June 10, 2008, the US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NLRB.[33]

The union has also filed charges of federal unfair labor practices with the NLRB Las Vegas office, contending that Blue Man Group illegally changed the show's work rules and fired a key union supporter.[31]

Specific references:

General references:

Blue Man Group. (2009, January 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:57, January 20, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blue_Man_Group&oldid=265181744

This article has been read 2129 times.

[ Back | Top | Home | Login ]

Search

Video Gallery
Interview with Paul Collins and The Beat


Photo Gallery
Click Here to Post!!!


Goodyear Pimps; Heartbreakers Gentl...


Concert Reviews

  - Concert Review Primus at...
  - Slayer thrashes Austins ...
  - Hanging out with Slayer ...
  - Austin City Limits Live ...
  - Weezers Two Night Stand ...
  - Primus at Stubbs BarBQ A...
  - Sanctum Sully at Pisgah ...
  - The Moody Blues at ACL L...
  - Interpol at the Austin M...
  - Rise Against at Stubbs B...
  - Gogol Bordello at Stubbs...
  - Coheed and Cambria at St...
  - Guster at Stubbs BarBQ A...
  - Scissor Sisters at Stubb...
  - Cold War Kids at Stubbs ...
  - Styx at ACL Live at the ...
  - Tokyo Police Club at La ...
  - Suicidal Tendencies at W...
  - Black Crowes Massey Hal...
  - Freak Show Festival with...
  - American Carnage tears t...
  - More...


Photo Spreads

  - Suicidal Tendencies at A...
  - Exodus at ACL Live
  - Slayer at Auditorium Sho...
  - They Might Be Giants at ...
  - Counting Crows at Stubbs...
  - Steel Panther Sound Aca...
  - Buffy Sainte Marie Toro...
  - James Durbin at Stubbs B...
  - Evanescense at Stubbs Ba...
  - Sleigh Bells Phoenix Co...
  - Todd Rundgren at La Zona...
  - Arctic Monkeys Air Cana...
  - Lacuna Coil at ACL Live ...
  - Megadeth at ACL Live at ...
  - Gladys Knight at ACL Liv...
  - Earth Wind and Fire at A...
  - Polyphonic Spree at La Z...
  - The Fray The Opera Hous...
  - Willie Nelsons New Years...
  - Better Than Ezra at ACL ...
  - Nick Lowe at ACL Live at...
  - More...


Tour News

  - The Sword Announces New ...
  - As I Lay Dying Celebrate...
  - Shonen Knife launches No...
  - Pianos Become Teeth Tour...
  - Testament Tours In Suppo...
  - Thrust Management Tour S...
  - Five Finger Death Punch ...
  - Seahaven Tour Dates for ...
  - Fearless Friends Tours i...
  - Textures and The Contort...
  - Pentimento Kicks Off Pen...
  - Plug In Stereo Announces...
  - Moving Mountains Announc...
  - Star City Meltdown Annou...
  - Miss May Is No Guts No G...
  - Hawthorne Heights Announ...
  - Drive A Plays In Rock Al...
  - MADBALL tours next week
  - Five Finger Death Punch ...
  - Hostage Calm Tours with ...
  - Pentimento Starts Northe...
  - More...


Podcasts

  - Podcast Slayers Kerry Ki...
  - Podcast Interview with J...
  - Podcast Interview with J...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast Interview with A...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast Interview with V...
  - Videocast The Undergrou...
  - Podcast Interview with L...
  - Podcast NXNE Artist Spot...
  - Podcast NXNE Artist Spot...
  - Podcast NXNE Artist Spot...
  - Podcast Interview with C...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - Podcast SXSW Artist Spot...
  - More...


Sponsors