The iconic Blue Man Group is on its way to make connections with Kamloops audiences.
The performance art trio of bald, earless blue men was formed in Manhattan in 1987 by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton. Since then, the show has grown far beyond the New York City island and is now an international show on a world tour.
One of those world tour stops is right here in Kamloops on April 27 and April 28 at Sandman Centre.
The show has grown beyond its original cast. Among the blue men on this tour is Meridian — not his real name — who has been with the group for about 12 years.
So how does one become a blue man? It turns out such a feat is accomplished through vigorous study in acting and music — and a high tolerance for bald caps and blue paint.
Meridian studied as a graduate student at the National Theatre Conservatory in the U.S. and is a musician. Prior to his time in Blue Man Group he played classical piano and not the drums for which the group is known.
That meant he had to take a learn-as-you-go approach to drumming for the Blue Man Group, which he said wasn’t too difficult to pick up.
But aside from Meridian’s acting prowess and musically ability is another element the non-verbal Blue Man Group is known for: humour.
“I think the way Blue Man Group uses humour is unique,” he said, adding that the current rendition of the show is an evolved collection of vaudeville acts evolved by the group, in addition to music and creative visual displays.
It’s the combination of comedy, music and creativity that make up the show as a whole, but it’s really about something else.
“I think all those elements are certainly a part of it, but also they are the tools to get out what we’re really about, which is just feeling connected with one another,” Meridian said.
Something Meridian has come to realize is that this connection doesn’t come right away — in fact, the group’s signature appearance is what creates distance between the men on stage and the audience.
“As the show progresses, quite quickly, that distance between the character and the audience shrinks until, by the end, it’s gone and we’re all connected,” he said.
Meridian said one of his favourite things to look for in an audience is a skeptic, someone who has been reluctantly dragged to the show by a partner or friend.
“Over the course of an hour and a half, that person is laughing and having the time of their life, and it’s really rewarding,” he said.
Tickets for one of the group’s three shows start at $60 and are available online at ticketmaster.ca.