Dare to live in full color.
This is the tagline of the wildly popular musical theater/comedy/art performance phenomenon known as The Blue Man Group, which over 35 million people have experienced.
I initially saw the show when it first came to Chicago- I was a teenager, too cool to participate in all the moves, so embarrassed that I might be singled out in the audience. Fast forward more than a decade later, and with two kids…I can now understand the magic of this show. I have grown up quite a bit since those times of worrying what everyone else thought of me, and feel I am finally embracing their motto- I am living in full color.
Blue Man Group encompasses everything I want to encourage in my children’s lives- curiosity, communication, artistic expression, music, and just letting go to have fun! One thing I love about the show is the subtle adult humor that somehow manages to be completely appropriate for kids of all ages.
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to see their latest show (they made a major format change in 2011) at the Briar Street Theater in Chicago, and have a Q&A with a band member and a “Blue Man” sans makeup. I learned a lot about what happens behind the scenes, what it takes to be a Blue Man, and everything that goes into this incredible production.
On the left is Gareth Hinsley, one of the 6 full time Blue Men on the crew. On the right is one of the musicians, who plays a completely unique instrument designed especially for the show. Here is what we learned:
- Throwing and catching are two skill sets they focus on first.
- Catching marshmallows in your mouth is not easy, and takes time to work up to!
- Thousands audition, but very few make it on stage.
- Audience participation is completely random, they don’t pre-select participants to come on stage.
- Makeup takes about 30 minutes to apply, and is quicker to remove!
- The musicians have to be in tune with the show and react accordingly- there is a lot of spontaneity.
Also, in terms of education…The founders of Blue Man Group created an independent school (preK-6th grade) in New York City, appropriately named “Blue School.” It is touted as a dynamically balanced education for seriously curious young people. After checking out their website, I found some seriously sweet Lesson Labs that will pique the curiosity of your kids and relate to the Blue Man Group! Check these two out:
Overall, I would highly recommend taking the kids for a Blue Man experience- for more information on prepping them, check out this link on the site! Also, Blue Man Group partnered with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. On October 4th at 4pm, the performance will be altered slightly to accommodate those with autism- bean bags, dim lights and noise-isolating headphones will be available.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to the Blue Man Group for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own, as always!