Painting Williamsport Blue
The Blue Man Group will bring a unique theatrical experience to the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8.
This will be the Blue Man Group’s first time performing in Williamsport.
The group was founded in 1987 by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton, as a theatrical group that would play music.
“Blue Man (Group) grew out of three friends many moons ago,” said Mike Brown, a Blue Man for more than 10 years. “They were living and seeing and they weren’t excited by these things they saw, so they created this character and built this show that people were excited about.”
Brown says he is “sort of the Blue Man captain. My job is to make sure everybody has a great time.”
All of the theatrical performances by the group star a trio of humanoid characters that wear bald caps and cover themselves in blue paint. “Blue Men don’t speak, so they figure out other ways to convey emotions. They have a four-piece band, and the drumming is very tribal.”
The shows are very comedy-oriented due to the Blue Man’s high level of curiosity, and according to Brown, they also are very intelligent. “They are fascinated by things like technology and science, and they experience things in a higher level,” Brown said.
The musical style the group performs during a show is mostly tribal rock that is very percussion-based. In 1999, the founders of the group put out the group’s debut instrumental album “Audio,” which went on to win the group a Grammy Award.
” ‘Audio’ skyrocketed them and ushered them into a bigger world of rock music,” Brown said of the group’s success after the album was released. The group released their albums “The Complex” and “How to Be a Megastar Live!” after “Audio,” and as far as the possibility of a new album, Brown said that “anything is possible with Blue Man Group.” The members of the founding trio aren’t currently performing as Blue men, but they still are heading the Blue Man Group company.
“We love performing it so it doesn’t feel like we are doing this show over and over,” Brown said. “The show is constantly evolving with culture so the material is literally fresh all the time.”
At a Blue Man Group show, one can expect to do more than just sit and watch. According to Brown, “The audience is the most important part of the show. There is a lot of audience interaction, and the Blue Men can go out into the audience.”
Brown has gained a lot of experience through the Blue Man Group.
“I’ve been performing on this tour since August, but I’ve been with the Blue Man company for over 10 years,” Brown said. “I started as a crew member in New York City, and they held an open audition. It had always been my dream to perform; I love drumming and I love acting.”
While performing on national and international tours, the group has also performed musical scores for film and televison, and made appearances on such shows as “The Drew Carey Show,” “Arrested Development,” “Scrubs” and “The Tonight Show.”
“Blue Man Group will survive as long as the show can make people happy, they can speak to the spirit of the Blue Man, and it doesn’t feel surgical,” Brown said.