6 things we learned during our interview with the Blue Man Group

2017-02-23 12:54

Cape Town – The Blue Man Group is currently on tour in South Africa. 

Having started the Joburg leg of their tour on 8 February, Big Concerts International announced on Monday that a sixth and final week has been added in Johannesburg due to exceptional demand. The show will now run until Saturday 18 March 2017. The Cape Town leg of their tour kicks off on Tuesday, 21 March.

For many people, like us, defining the Blue Man Group is quite difficult, as it’s a show that South Africa has never seen before.

We got to sit down with Blue Man and Blue Man Captain, Meridian, as well as Tony, who is responsible for strings and who is the musical director, to find out more.

These are the 6 things we learned from our interview:

1) The Blue Man Group is not a regular theatre show.

After asking Tony and Meridian to describe the show, this is what they had to say. "It is not like a theatre show where you just come in and watch it and watch a story, you come in and you become part of a story, and you share this experience. Not only with the actors and the band but also with the other people that are in the audience with you. It’s a whole trip you go on," says Tony.

"The Blue Man show is a unique experience of your own sense of play and joy and creativity. You’re not just watching a character do it, you’re experiencing it for yourself. That’s the beauty of the show," says Meridian.

2) You’ll never see the same show twice.

According to Tony and Meridian, there’s a lot of space for improvisation during the show, not only musically, but also with the blue man.

"I would kind of describe it as a journey that the blue man takes every night and there are points in this journey. There are points A, B and C, but the thing is that what happens between these points can vary drastically sometimes, depending on the audience’s participation, the energy of the crowd and sometimes even the whims and the motivations of an actor or a musician. So, you’re never gonna see the same show twice. It’s always different," says Tony.

Meridian adds: "That’s another fun challenge about the show too, we have to be really open and present with whatever the audience is. There are a couple parts of the show where we bring audience volunteers up on the stage with us, and we have to be ready to respond to whatever they do. You know, they’re not told what to do, so you have to be ready to improvise with them." 

3) From soundcheck to show time is all part of a ritual.

"We come in for soundcheck before the show, and it’s a chance for us to warm up and play through some tunes. Technically to make sure everything is working, but really that’s part of like a process of us getting our energy up and connecting and even just talking, like, ‘how was your day Meridian, blah blah blah,’ and then we start joking around. And that’s where we kind of create that bond that carries through the show, so all of that is like a ritual and part of the process of being ready for a show," says Tony.

"If we can get connected to each other we can share that connection with the audience," says Meridian.

4) There are secret things happening behind-the-scenes that you will never know about.

We just had to ask: "Is there one thing that no one knows about what happens behind-the-scenes?"

"That’s a tough one, we’re not supposed to talk about those things…" says Meridian. "Yeah, you mean that underneath the blue there’s a coat of red? Secrets, you’re asking for secrets! You’ve worded it very clever…" laughs Tony.

"Let’s just say yes there are things that nobody knows and they’re secret."

5) Getting the paint on and off is a messy process.

Meridian says the paint part of the show is very messy and that it gets everywhere. "Putting on the makeup is part of the ritual, the pre-show, what we were talking about before. Uhm, in fact, the dressing room environment is very important to us, it’s a big part of us forming that connection with each other, because it is a long process. It takes, you know, over the course of an hour for us to put all of that makeup on and during that whole time we’re listening to music," explains Meridian.

And taking the paint off? "Well, you get pretty good at it! The first time I ever took it off, I was dripping in it, there was this makeup remover, but I was literally just drenched in like blue all the way down. It took about 2 hours. Now I do it in about 20 minutes to half an hour. The first time was a disaster!" laughs Meridian.

6) The Blue Man Captain’s favourite colour is not blue.

Meridian’s favourite colour is florescent green! "If I’m being perfectly honest," says Meridian. "But I do love blue also," he adds quickly.

Tour information:

Venue: Teatro at Montecasino
Dates: From Tuesday 7 February 2017 until Saturday 18 March 2017
Off Peak Shows: Tuesday Evening, Wednesday Evening, Thursday Evening and Sunday Evening
Peak Shows: Friday Evening, Saturday Matinee, Saturday Evening and Sunday Matinee
Ticket Prices: Off Peak: R370 – R595 / Peak: R455 – R680
Venue: Grand Arena, GrandWest
Dates: From Tuesday 21 March 2017 until 26 March
Off Peak Shows: Tuesday Evening, Wednesday Evening, Thursday Evening and Sunday Evening
Peak Shows: Friday Evening, Saturday Matinee, Saturday Evening and Sunday Matinee
Ticket Prices: Off Peak: R340 – R570 / Peak: R425 – R655

Bookings: From Big Concerts and Computicket. 

Read more on:    blue man group  |  music  |  theatre

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