Monday, November 12, 2018

REVIEW: Blue Man Group Adds NEW Instruments, Interactions, Technology and More To Open Ended Chicago Run at Briar Street Theatre


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Production Evolves with New Instruments, Technologies and Audience Connections



Guest Review by Flo Mano 
Chicago's gone code "BLUE"... Blue Man Group that is!!  
The Blue Man Group long running show, at Briar Street Theatre, had their revamped, "New Content Debut" this month, under a mood lit tent. It started with a festive, fun VIP reception full of activities. I had a blast creating bicycle spin art on Blue Man Group logo tote bags and decorating hand drums, as memento souvenirs. People could even try their drum skills on colorful pvc pipe drums, just like the actors! In the main lobby there were other percussion instruments, too, awaiting a hands on attempt to create musical sounds, for young and old. Mingling with other guests and enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres & spirits made for a wonderful way to kick off this celebration! 

After the opening festivities, we entered the theater to a shade of  aesthetically pleasing, blue mood light. I was in the splash zone, where plastic raincoats hang from the chairs, so nobody in the front rows goes home accidentally splatter painted. There I waited eagerly for the excitement to unfold. This was my first time to catch Blue Man Group. 

A hush fell over the crowd, then with the darkening of the stage...BANG!! The Trio of Blue Men appeared in a spotlight and synchronized percussion sounds encompassed the room, to the screaming of the audience!! With a straight face, big expressive eyes, and pantomime, they had the audience in awe from the opening moments onward.



Blue Man Group is magical, imagination filled, knockout entertainment! The neon, face painted accompanying musicians drew attention with their strong score on improvised cues. Meanwhile the blue leads interacted with the audience, like bigger than life balancing gymnast giants, infiltrating and choosing participants to join them on stage. The audience ate it up, with nonstop belly laughter throughout. Amazing statistics and surprises abound. 

At the end, in the lobby, the Blue Men graciously posed for pictures/selfies with their fans prompting grins galore! This show definitely makes for a fun, family friendly special event. Gift your friends and family with lasting memories, with tickets to Blue Man Group. Whether you've never been or seen them many times over, Blue Man Group is a superb show that appeals to all ages!

Flo Mano is a CPS elementary teacher/librarian, hairdresser, and theater/film fanatic who catches hundreds of Chicago shows annually. She's been known to pull over while driving, spring from her car, and excitedly hug favorite actors if she sees them on the street! Flo has an uncanny knack for remembering faces and roles for decades. She volunteers at numerous film venues and theaters, and she has otherworldly ticket karma, frequently showing up at sold out shows and getting standby tickets.




BLUE MAN GROUP CHICAGO DEBUTS 
NEW MOMENTS BEGINNING 
NOVEMBER 8, 2018


Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski


Blue Man Group, continuing its open run at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre (3133
N. Halsted), will provide a new experience for Chicago visitors beginning November 8 by unveiling brand new content featuring new instruments, technologies and audience interactions. Developed by Director Michael Dahlen and Creative Director Jeff Turlik, the new elements joining the Chicago production celebrate Blue Man Group’s commitment to experimentation and
evolution. 


Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski

“When developing pieces for Blue Man Group, we are constantly asking ourselves, ‘What would the Blue Men do?’”, said Michael Dahlen, Director. “In both the new and iconic content for the Chicago show, we follow the Blue Men as they explore various aspects of our rapidly changing world and celebrate our shared joy of being alive. Couple that with moments of playfully
uncomfortable audience participation and you’ve got a unique experience like no other to love.”




Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski

Newly constructed and remastered instruments such as the Spinulum, Light Horns and Trigger Vibes will bring expressive new sounds to Blue Man Group Chicago. Made from industrial materials, the Spinulum is played in a similar fashion to a slide guitar by moving a specially made hand grip along the stainless-steel neck of the instrument while rotating a clear plastic
disk. Light Horns will allow the Blue Men to call out to the audience in a never-before-done fashion. Part deconstructed xylophone, part drum hardware, the Trigger Vibes will present new but oddly familiar electronic sounds. Original music compositions will also be featured in the Chicago production including the theatrical debut of “Vortex,” a piece from Blue Man Group’s latest studio album “THREE.”

New commentary on culturally relevant themes such as social media, connectivity and technology will be introduced in pieces such as Fast Friendz! and the Blue Men’s engagement with virtual reality headsets backstage during the show. Fast Friendz! playfully and hilariously spoofs society’s over-reliance on technology to enhance their lives. The new content will also create a deeper connection between the audience and the Blue Men by acknowledging and featuring the audience more prominently throughout the show. One lucky
audience member will even be given the opportunity to share the stage with Blue Man Group like never before—becoming a true rock star by playing alongside the Blue Men on yet another new instrument, the Mag Bells.




 Photo Credit: Eric Klein



Blue Man Group is loved by audiences young and old for its ability to surprise, awe, confuse, humble and entertain. Specific iconic elements of Blue Man Group’s ensemble such as the creative uses of paint or the Blue Men’s uncanny ability to throw, catch and make art from an unlikely medium have become ingrained in Blue Man Group’s DNA and are expected and desired by fans. These moments will remain as celebrated components of the production. 


 Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski

Blue Man Group Ticket Information
Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-BLUE-MAN (1-800-258-3626) or visiting www.blueman.com. A full show schedule and ticket pricing, can also be found at www.blueman.com.
Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more, varying from $46- $69 per person. For groups of 10 or more, call the group sales department to book at: 773-348-3300 or email chicagogroups@blueman.com to request information.


 Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski

About Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group is an award-winning show and entertainment phenomenon, performed and
seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. A dynamic combination of art,
music, comedy and technology, the show’s euphoric celebration of human connection has
universal appeal for a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. The show is
continually refreshed with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art
technology. Blue Man Group has permanent theatrical productions in New York, Las Vegas,
Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Berlin and a World Tour. Blue Man Group is owned and operated by
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

This creative collective has become part of the pop culture zeitgeist. Blue Man Group has
served as the face of branding campaigns for Intel and TIM/Brasil and appeared countless times
on hit shows like “The Tonight Show,” “Arrested Development,” “Ellen,” “Schlag den Raab”
(Germany), “WOWOW” (Japan), and “Caldeirão do Huck” (Brasil).

Beyond the stage show, they are Grammy-nominated recording artists, known for their
contributions to various film and TV scores and multiple Blue Man Group albums, including their
most recent, THREE. Their “Megastar World Tour” rock concert parody played arenas across
the globe. The group’s recently published first-ever book, Blue Man World, is a visually stunning
anthropological exploration of the curious bald and blue character.

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