Blue Man Group Debuts New Show

Lisa Fielding
November 01, 2018 - 2:23 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Briar Street Theatre has been home of the Blue Man Group for 21 years.

"The show is very difficult to describe," laughed Gareth Hinsley, Blue Man performer. "It's very unique, it's very special."

Hinsley has been a Blue Man since 2006. He trained in Chicago then performed in Berlin, London, Tokyo and is now back in Chicago.

"It's a unique quality to do this.  I think everyone has a little Blue Man in them. It's important to know and understand music. There is a height requirement so there is uniformity on stage. Drumming experience is also a plus," he said.

"The Blue Men have an innate curiosity and always wants to know how something works. There's no ego with the Blue Men. It's just an innocent sense of play and learning so in order to play that character you have to have a bit of that in you."

The three-person show is known for its drums, paint, its spontaneity and its unusual instruments.

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

"The music is unique to Blue Man. We innovate different instruments and find ways of making sounds and playing crazy music is also a fantastic thing. We get to make a mess and play," he laughed. "I always find that infectious."

Beginning Nov. 8, the show is unveiling brand new content featuring new instruments, technologies and audience interactions.

"It's a great balance with new content, new instruments, new music, but also some of our iconic pieces are still in there, older pieces that have been reimaged into something new," Hinsley said.

Beginning Nov. 8, the Blue Man Group show is unveiling brand new content featuring new instruments, technologies and audience interactions.
Daniel Boczarski

The new show will debut something called the Trigger Vibes, a deconstructed xylophone, part drum hardware, Light Horns and something called the Spinulum.

"The Spinulum is a stringed instrument you play with a wheel with zip ties that hits the strings and it creates this very sustained and beautiful strain of melody that we manipulate with a slide," he said.

Hinsley said the show is always about connecting with and surprising the audience.

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

"We try to stay relevant, we try to have something to say to every generation that comes to see us and something to offer," Hinsley said.

The show will also feature new commentary on themes such as social media, connectivity and technology, which Hinsley said will playfully and hilariously spoof society's over-reliance on technology to enhance their lives.

"We do something on smart phones and our reliance on apps and social media and the Blue Men's take on that. There's a question in there on how we relate to these thing sand how society is effected by them," he said. "This new version of the show has got lots of fantastic stuff across the board."

Blue Man Group perfoming
Daniel Boczarski

Hinsley has been performing Chicago for four years.

"Chicago audiences are awesome, they are vocal and love to laugh and that invigorates us. You have to be a bit brave to be in the front show. We make a mess, we use paint, but you're safe and we give you protection, but it's not for the faint hearted," he laughed.

The new and improved Blue Man Group debuts on Nov. 8 at the Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted St.; Tickets are $49-$69 at www.ticketmaster.com