By Brian Jewell
With a show that eschews traditional Broadway traditions in favor of glow sticks, invented instruments and gallons of blue paint, Blue Man Group has become one of the favorite theater options for groups. The company now has shows in New York; Las Vegas; Chicago; Boston; and Orlando, Fla., as well as a touring company and a resident show aboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships.
Interaction is a critical part of the Blue Man Group experience. Shows often include routines performed with audience volunteers, and the crowd gets hands-on with some interesting objects and materials during the course of the program. Within the past year, Blue Man productions across the country have created opportunities for groups to have special encounters with the performers.
“We heard from our clients that groups are looking for something out of the box, so we created a variety of additional experiences in our five domestic shows,” said marketing manager Danielle Pakradooni. “They range from question-and-answer sessions to VIP experiences.”
In New York groups can arrange to come to the Astor Place Theatre in advance of the performance to see the Blue Man Group and its accompanying musicians run through their preshow sound check. The actors appear in street clothes and introduce visitors to some of their unusual instruments, props and set pieces. Guests can even walk onstage and try out some of the instruments and tricks themselves.
In Las Vegas, the company offers a VIP meet-and-greet experience, where a Blue Man Group cast member talks with group visitors and poses for photos. The package also includes premium tickets, a complimentary drink and a luminescent merchandise item.