New Yorkers gazing up at the Empire State Building the evening of November 17 will see it swathed in a familiar shade of blue lighting. The relighting is part of a major milestone for the Off-Broadway production Blue Man Group, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Begun by a trio of Lower East Side street performers, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, and Phil Stanton, the music/comedy/technology show began its epic run on this date in 1991 at the Astor Place Theatre (where it has played more than 13,000 performances), and has since spawned companies in 20 countries that have been seen by more than 35 million people. Their show was originally titled Tubes, but now goes just by Blue Man Group.
The milestone is being celebrated with events across the U.S. The New York City Mayor’s Office will temporarily rename Astor Place “Blue Man Way” for the day on November 17. Later this afternoon, Blue Man Group co-founders and original Blue Men Wink, Stanton, and Goldman, along with the current Blue Men, will flip a switch on the Empire State Building, turning the entire building blue. Also this week, Blue Man Group’s wax figures make their debut at Madame Tussauds wax museum on 42nd Street near Times Square. The figures will remain through December 24, 2016.
The mostly silent trio is presented in the show without explanation. They seem slightly unfamiliar with the world that most people take for granted, but have a strange fascination with percussion instruments and paint in bright colors.
Local governments in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago, where productions are currently playing, will all officially declare November 17 “Blue Man Group Day.” In Orlando, FL, Universal Orlando Resort will illuminate its iconic entryway arches blue while in Las Vegas, various MGM Resorts International marquees all over the famed Las Vegas Strip will display special celebratory messaging.
Celebrations continue November 18 as Blue Man Group performs on NBC’s Today Show. The group will debut newly invented instruments and their latest wearable video technology during a performance of “Hex Suit” from their latest album, Three. Later that same afternoon, the Blue Men will help The Palm (250 West 50th Street) unveil their very own mural on the restaurant’s Broadway Wall.
A week later on Friday, November 25, the group will release a special limited edition double vinyl press of Three. The album, pressed on 180g blue splatter vinyl, contains 12 minutes of additional exclusive music and will be available at select brick and mortar and online retailers.
The group released the world-premiere video for “Giacometti,” the first single from the new album. Watch it below:
Timed to the anniversary, the Blue Men also released a book, Blue Man World, from Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. the 208-page hardcover seeks to explore the Blue Man mystique and esthetic.
Visit blueman.com/25 for more information.