NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For three decades, Blue Man Group has been marching to its own beat in theaters all around the world.
As the iconic group celebrates its 30th anniversary, CBS2’s Ali Bauman joined them at their home theater on the Lower East Side for a look at how they’re keeping the music alive.READ MORE: Light Of Day Concert Series To Benefit Research For Parkinson's Disease Set For Jan. 7-17 Around Tri-State Area
“It’s 30 years, starting right where we’re sitting,” said Mark Frankel. ”
Bauman joined Frankel, the current Blue Man Group captain, at the Astor Place Theatre.
“Did you always want to be blue?” asked Bauman.
“I was always a drummer, and I found myself auditioning for Blue Man just because of someone I met at a party. Within six months of that meeting, I’m up on this stage asking myself how on Earth this happened,” said Frankel.
That was 17 years ago. Frankel has racked up about 3,000 performances since.
“And because this show does have a degree of improvisation, the audience behaves as a character. They’re our fourth character throughout the show,” Frankel said.
We got to see what happens when the iconic cobalt characters performed just for us.READ MORE: Months Later, New Hyde Park Temple Still Trying To Make Repairs Due To Devastating Floodwaters From Ida
“What do you think it is that has allowed the show to hold up for three decades?” asked Bauman.
“It all comes down to the character, I believe. If you go to the park and you watch a child play, or even if you go to the park and go to the dog run, there’s something captivating about it because it’s beings that are selfless, essentially egoless, and they’re just experiencing things in the moment. So, the three Blue Men are very much an analog to that and, because we don’t speak, the audience can then see this happen and fill in their own story for each, particular Blue Man or all three of them, or come up with their own meaning for why we’re even doing this in the first place. To me, that’s the magnet. That’s the charm of this,” said Frankel.
The show was first mounted in 1991, written by three friends bucking against musicians of the ’80s.
“It was also a very self-centered, me generation, kind of thing. It was very much about climbing the corporate ladder and just having the attention on you. So, I think the show was built on the notion of ‘egolessness’ and experience and collective, you know, experience, like, coming together,” said Frankel.
“Is that something that you think audiences crave right now, in 2021?” asked Bauman.
“Well, this is interesting because I think we’re in a moment that’s absolutely swinging back to where we were in the ’80s… Even without what we went through with COVID, this whole social media generation, I think people are craving to be together and put the phones down and spend time with one another. And I think the show is even more relevant now as an antidote to that,” said Frankel.
So what’s in store for Blue Man Group’s next 30 years?MORE NEWS: Landlord Groups Fume As NYC Council Mulls Proposal To Prevent Criminal Background Checks Of Potential Tenants
“I want this show and I want all of theater to have, for the future to be very bright and vibrant.” said Frankel.