Household items become instruments at show

Tonight, University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus will be painted blue. The Blue Man Group, comprised of three men with blue faces and extremities wearing black spandex suits, is easily recognized from the Swatch and HP computer commercials and their ongoing stint at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

Taking their show on the road, the group will bring their non-traditional musical adventures and kooky stage antics to the BankUnited Center to regale an audience of all ages.

It is a difficult feat to convey such an experience, for there are two components to the Blue Man Group-the show and the phenomenon. As for the event itself, “It’s a real overload of all the senses,” says Greg Hagglund, Co-Executive Producer with Emery Entertainment for the Blue Man Group. It has a theme and a story-line, yet, it is still a big rock show.

However, the Blue Man Group does not use typical instruments. They create their infamous unique sounds by beating drums that span from six inches to six feet in diameter. They swing “air poles” that whoosh through the air.

They slam PVC pipes and tubes that crash, gong and mimic electric guitar effects. They launch rockets and other household items and splatter paint. And somehow, all the erratic noises combine to form a smooth sound that infuses the audience with energy and whisks them away from a 9 to 5 mentality and into the Blue Men’s otherworldly state of mind.

The Blue Man Group’s How to be a Megastar 2.0 tour is a separate entity from the semi-permanent fixtures in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. The co-founders of the original Group wanted to bring the extravaganza to as many people as possible, but that required a few set changes.

The show is still very interactive, as the Blue Men break performer-audience barriers by entering the stands and bringing people on stage. This tour focuses more on the music, though.

“It’s a rock and roll show that’s very theatrical versus intimate, in-theater settings,” describes Hagglund. It is “a tribute to the great 70s arena shows,” he says, as they cover songs by The Who and Pink Floyd.

Creativity and entertainment literally ooze from the Blue Man Group’s performance. As for the phenomenon, “It’s hard to describe,” laughs Hagglund, “but once you experience the Blue Man Group, you become a life-long fan.” He continues, “There’s something there for everyone-their inside humor and a chic, satirical way that they look at life.” Tickets are still available for tonight’s show and range in price from $45-$85.

Hilary Saunders may be contacted at h.saunders@umiami.edu.

February 27, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.