BLUE MAN GROUP

The Civic - Auckland Live, Auckland

24/05/2016 - 05/06/2016

St James Theatre 2, Wellington

07/06/2016 - 19/06/2016

Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

21/06/2016 - 03/07/2016

Production Details



The Phenomenal Blue Man Group New Zealand Tour 

The international entertainment phenomenon, Blue Man Group is pleased to announce that their wildly popular, award-winning production will be visiting New Zealand for the first time as part of a new world tour from May to July 2016. The acclaimed stage show, best known and recognised for its trio of bald and blue performers, will tour to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Blue Man Group is comedy, theatre, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one. The Blue Man Group theatrical tour showcases classic Blue Man favourites, along with brand new content. Now approaching their 25thyear of creativity, this artistic group is continually updating and refreshing Blue Man shows with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology.

Co-founder Chris Wink says “When we first began creating performances centred around this innocent, curious character called Blue Man, we never dreamt where he would lead us. We are so honoured to be able to share our show with the people of New Zealand and beyond.  We believe the Blue Man’s universal message of joyful exuberance and euphoric celebration resonates within all of us.”

Producer and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall said “I have been trying to get this cooler-than-cool show to New Zealand since I first saw it x years ago, and am so excited that we have finally succeeded! Blue Man Group is hugely popular around the world – first time audiences leave the theatre so exhilarated by the show that it has one of the highest return businesses of any theatrical event. I know it will be the talk of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch when audiences finally get to experience this innovative, playful, colourful spectacle.”

Blue Man Group creates experiences that defy categorization, taking the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent and visually stunning, culminating in the trademark Blue Man Group finale in a blissful party atmosphere.

Blue Man Group is accompanied by a live band whose tribal rhythms help drive the show to its unforgettable climax.

Having performed their first show almost 25 years ago, to date, over 35 million people across 15 countries have seen one of the various Blue Man Group productions.

Blue Man Group was founded by three close friends Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton in New York in 1991, and has grown to include permanent shows in Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, Boston, Chicago and Berlin, as well as a touring production in North America. In 2016, the Blue Man Group theatrical tour will embark on a World Tour. Beyond the stage show, Blue Man Group has toured the globe with the ‘Megastar World Tour’ rock concert parody, produced five albums, including the Grammy-nominated Audio, and contributed to numerous film and TV scores. They’ve also appeared in several commercials and hit TV shows.

Mr Cundall adds, “With no spoken language Blue Man Group is perfect for all ages, languages and cultures. It gives everyone the freedom to reconnect with their inner child, to re-experience mischievousness and sheer joy, and see what fun three guys can have with 30 litres of paint and 55 mashed-up bananas in the space of an hour and a half!”

Blue Man Group is brought to New Zealand by Blue Man Productions Ltd, and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Ltd.

Blue Man Group – it’s not just a show, it’s a state of mind.

The Civic, Auckland  
Tue 24 May – 5 June 2016
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St James Theatre, Wellington  
Tue 7 – 19 June 2016
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Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch 
Tue 21 Jun – 3 July 2016
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Theatre , Spectacle , Musical , Family ,


Both embraces and repudiates technology

Review by Erin Harrington 23rd Jun 2016

Blue Man Group, now 25 years old and a massive global brand, offers a high energy, high impact show that is spectacular in the most literal fashion. The show feels like a giant, colourful, kids’ birthday party by way of a raucous rock concert and a UV-lit rave: it’s big, bright, loud, exuberant and occasionally messy.

Three curious, intense and silent blue-faced men, who tend to express a sort of startled naiveté, do a bunch of, well, stuff involving paint, percussion, and po-faced physical comedy. Their explorations of day-to-day objects and actions work to denaturalise the world around us, much as their engagements with the audience seem to be about figuring out how people work.

It’s pretty pointless to unpack too much of the specific content of the show, in the same way that it’s rude to lay out a comic’s punchlines in a review, other than to say it’s gleeful, vibrant, and very, very loud.

I’m utterly taken with the percussive music, which defines and drives forward the action, but for all the show’s bombast, one of my favourite moments ends up being an extended skit in which an audience member helps the Blue Men with some snacks. It quietly and deftly highlights the troupe’s skill in mime and physical comedy, and the warm, inviting rapport they achieve with both audience and ‘volunteers’.

The show’s technical and musical elements are complex and slick. The grinning, dancing crew are as much a part of the performance as the talented band and the Blue Men themselves, and I spend a good deal of time admiring the very impressive lighting rig and the complex, moving set, and wondering at the logistics of a tour like this. 

My plus one is a media studies teacher who’s quite sharp on this sort of thing, and she highlights how much she loves the way that the show both embraces and repudiates technology. This is present through its extensive and creative use of digital and theatre technology and electric instruments, its emphasis upon ‘analogue’ music, percussion and performance, and its exploration of the human body and its capacity for rich experience and meaningful connection.

The outcome is a terrific evening of strobing lights, deft comedy, technological whizzbangery and outstanding live music, and that feels almost sacrilegious in the beautifully genteel environment of the recently restored Isaac Theatre Royal.

Christchurch rarely gets to experience international touring shows of this quality, let alone ones in a comparatively intimate space such as the Isaac Theatre Royal (as opposed to the much larger, much less inviting and much less comfortable Horncastle Arena). It’s also a rare delight to be at a performance that genuinely caters to all ages, such that little kids’ giggles and the laughter of adults is heard in equal measure.

One of the people I talk to afterwards reckons it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen, and afterwards my companion and I see some kids toddle through New Regent Street, excitedly dragging big bundles of the show’s paper streamers behind them. How often do shows have that sort of an impact on such a broad range of audience members?  

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Performance art mastered with pure clowning

Review by Deborah Eve Rea 10th Jun 2016

Blue Man Group is comedy, theatre, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one – with about 30 litres of paint thrown into the mix.  

Starting as street performers in Manhattan, the group now has a 25 year performance history with regular shows in Las Vegas. I have fond memories of doing a class project on the company in high school and am very excited to see them on their first ever New Zealand tour.

This is clowning at its purist. Performances are chiseled away to the slightest lift of eyebrow, turn of the head or held gaze. The mastery of clowning leads the smallest of gestures and reactions to be able to hold the entire St James Theatre in the palms of their blue hands. The Blue Man Group performers feed off each other like oxygen to flame.

The show consists of three performers playing off each other (and the audience) and a live, possibly intergalactic, band. They perform about half a dozen lazzi including their iconic PVC pipe percussion, some newer work which engages technology and digital projection, and some classic, less production-heavy, clowning with help from the audience.

The only gripe I have – and it is such a small one – is that a scene involving oversized cell phones doesn’t quite seem to fit with their world. Perhaps because there is so much mystery in the life of these blue men- they could be from anywhere, any time. The cell phones lock them into a time period, although the utilisation of it is very clever and entertaining. 

The production teams need to be congratulated here. Blue Man Group is a spectacle of light, sound and colour, the likes of which we rarely get see in theatrical work. let alone in Wellington at all.

Blue Man Group unites the audience in moments of fun, joy and suspense – even a few activities. Before we’ve even realised it, Blue Man Group has managed to construct a real sense of community without even saying a word. 

It’s a tribute to the show that I’m left wanting more. I don’t feel I’ve quite got enough after they begin to wave goodbye 90 minutes later (or perhaps because Eventfinder incorrectly advertises it at as 2+ hour show). It’s wonderful to see the whole production team brought on stage for curtain call; something I wish I saw more often.

Blue Man Group play in Wellington until June 19th. Be sure to catch them for a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see performance art mastered. As their motto says: Blue Man Group – it’s not just a show, it’s a state of mind.

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A strange yet exhilarating show

Review by Bob Mason 10th Jun 2016

Entertainment in the digital age increasingly seems to be obsessed with pushing boundaries and striving to create the ultimate unique experience, if you can pardon the clichés.

Blue Man Group, while certainly deserving a category all by itself, nevertheless relied on a tried and trusted showbiz formula, in a strange yet exhilarating performance. [More

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Blue my Mind

Review by Sharu Delilkan 03rd Jun 2016

Described as a comical musical & artistic show featuring lots of audience interaction with a blue-painted cast, Blue Man Group definitely do what they say on the tin.

Besides seeing a very short YouTube clip about the show I made a big effort not to watch anything in advance so as not to raise expectations.  But in retrospect I don’t think that would’ve made a difference.  Blue Man Group’s simple yet effective concept of three core cast members miming to music and clowning around definitely offers a new unique perspective which is riddled with playfulness. [More

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Childlike energy, driven by discovery and fun

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 26th May 2016

Blue Man Group celebrates 25 years in 2016 and, sitting down here in New Zealand, I never thought I would see the day they came to play in our fair country.

Formed in 1991, Blue Man Group (‘Blue Man’ being a play on the word ‘human’), was started by three close friends: Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman. Emerging on the streets of New York’s Lower East Side, Blue Man Group is now homed in theatres in five cities across the US with another permanent home in Berlin. Theirs is a unique breed of performance art entertainment.

I am a fan, first really learning about the group in the cult classic television show Arrested Development, and as we wait to be admitted to the stalls, I am excited to see their spectacle unfold live. The excitement amongst other patrons awaiting admission is audible. 

The first three rows of audience are wearing rain ponchos. Mostly people are reading the strip of scrolling signage on either side of the stage. And so, even before we have met a Blue Man, the audience is a part of the show as the strip signage ‘speaks’ to us – a simple and seriously effective tool. We chant “happy birthday” for a lady, say hi to another who, we learn, had her tickets paid for by workmates.

Then into the celebrities: The Bachelor NZ is here (in fact he is sitting right next to us… just FYI, he is a first class arm rest hog) and as an audience we congratulate him on riding a sheep (mystifying to me, I did not watch the series, but it’s wildly entertaining for those who did, if the audience reaction is anything to go by); radio station personality Chang Hung (embarrassingly – though I guess there is a slight chance it is intended – he is referred to as ‘she’ in the signage) has a headache which we help him to fix. Well timed, this is just enough to get us limbered and relaxed for what ensues: a ninety-minute assault on the senses, every minute exceptionally funny, thought provoking and entertaining. 

The three blue men start this epic voyage with a mammoth drum trio, involving paint and canvas, then the small and slick band chimes in. I am blown away; we are given an exceptional live soundtrack all night – the four relentless and talented musicians beat out and strum almost unceasingly throughout the show, which is as important as the performance of the men painted blue.

Music is especially important when the act is performed entirely mute. The Blue Man Group is reliant on the pitch, passion and pulse of the accompaniment. The band does not miss a beat, but then neither do our blue men. The entire production must be congratulated, for at every turn they are delivering a flawless, energy filled performance.

The audience is very much a part of the show – unsurprising given how the show began this evening – freshly painted canvasses are given as gifts to the crowd. The marshmallow sketch is hilarious and the gifting of said strange marshmallow creation into the Louis Vuitton handbag of some woman in the front row has me giggling heartily.

We watch as the trio takes to the crowd with a pencil mounted camera and disappear down the throat of a chap in the second row. Immaculate live video editing means that in a swift trompe de l’oeil we are watching the camera travel to the boy’s gut and back again. It is amazing what compels me to watch something like this, as it is not traditionally something I would sit affixed to, but I am…

For their ‘date night dinner’ sketch, they bring a female volunteer to the stage and she is so well matched to the Blue Man energy, you could be forgiven for thinking she has been planted there! What is great about watching the group interact with her is that I can see how much thought has gone into manipulating the sketch so that it works well and effortlessly. I truly believe it wouldn’t matter how the volunteer reacts, because there are still the bones of a successfully executed sketch. Brilliant! 

There is a particularly good illusion trick played on us, using a male member of the audience – (spoiler alert) I swear on the way out of the Civic I heard plenty of people muttering, “But how did they get his head in that jelly?” 

There is a deep sense of fun and mischief about the group’s performance, a childlike energy, driven by discovery and fun. I love watching a show that makes everyone in the room feel like they are six years old again; I think even The Bachelor lets himself descend to his inner child for a spell!

Throughout the show I see glimpses of other acts, which have followed in the Blue Man Group’s wake. In particular I am reminded of the work of Kiwi Sam Wills who has enjoyed international success with his character The Boy with Tape on his Face. There is that same reliance on the eyes, the careful selection of musical accompaniments, the flawless creation of an emotive persona and the crucial element: being able to read your crowd. The Blue Man Group show me tonight that they are grand masters of their craft.

Grand masters they might be, but the show itself is not at all dated. There are some hilarious insights into the world of text and of portable personal devices, all so well done that the laughs flow easily. Blue Man Group might have been doing this for 25 years but their show is not 25 years old.

To discuss the content of the show in too much more detail will, I think, prove too much of a spoiler. I will say there is plenty of amazing eye trickery to be enjoyed, and their music is outstanding in its inventiveness. In combination with the lights, visual effects, video and music, I am taken to the brink of overload at the show’s parting sketch, and as soon as it is over I want to see it all over again.

Blue Man Group is worth every cent of the ticket price and is a wonderful night out for – corny as it sounds – children of all ages.

Get along and see why this group has been so phenomenally successful. They deliver a playful, open, comical, rocking, miming, electronica explosion of colour and sound.

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