Blue Man Group revamps popular Universal experience

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Universal Studios is bringing an updated version of the live show “Blue Man Group” to the Sharp Aquos Theatre starting Friday, Feb. 24, incorporating a new stage, original new music and new technology.
“This show will take one of Universal Orlando’s most popular experiences to a whole new level,” said Alice Norsworthy, Executive VP of Marketing and Sales. “It’s the perfect compliment to the incredible entertainment we offer at our destination.”
A special presentation was held on Thursday to introduce parts of the new show to the press, as well as a select group of fans, and also allowed them to meet and ask questions to one of the creators of the show and original Blue Man, Phil Staton.

The show, while keeping many of the signature pieces that have made “Blue Man Group” who they are, has been entwined with topical bits that are a sensory dialogue on the current obsession with electronic gadgets. “We are always updating and tweaking the shows,” said Staton, “and these devices are changing our lives.”

The show will feature an over-sized tablet device called Gi-Pad, or Gigantic iPad. The device stands more than 7-feet-tall and is intended to allow the user to share the tablet experience with his closest 100 friends. The Blue Men use wit and humor to open a conversation with the audience about living within the two-dimensional world of tablets and smart phones and asks the question, “Is it too much?”

In one scenario, the Blue Men engage each other in a texting conversation. Huge screens above their heads show the audience what is being typed across the phones as they argue whether this conversation would be better held in the three-dimensional world of reality. Insulted, the Blue Man texts another friend telling him of the great insult lampooned upon him of being pulled from the comfort of his smart phone screen to engage in a face-to-face conversation.

This foray into the new technological reality we live in is just part of the “new feel” to a show that has been a staple in the Universal Orlando audience for four-and-a-half years. The entire theatre has been re-done. The stage was pulled out and replaced with completely new materials to give it a fresh look and feel, and the theatre was fixed with new decorations and props that allow the audience to be more interactive and involved then ever before.

“Our team of artists at Blue Man Productions has created fun, even astounding new visual aspects of the show,” explained Chris Wink, another one of the original Blue Men and co-creators. “And our music team has given us a great new sound; we are really excited to incorporate these elements into the show.”

While a new show experience was developed and new acts added, the Blue Men want to remind their faithful fans that the signature moments that they have come to be known for are still in the show, although in most cases they have also been updated.

“Many of our audience’s favorite pieces will continue to be a part of the production,” said Stanton. “The things that are more timeless and tribal in nature, such as paint, drums and light [are there], but we have developed some brand new elements of the show that provide a larger-than-life, rousing, interactive experience that I hope will really speak to all cultures and give some of our most devoted fans a new reason to check us out again.”

For all the lights, sound and sensory overload, the stars of the show are still the blue painted, poker-faced comedians whose job it is to keep the audience’s attention for nearly 90 minutes. “The heart of the show is, and always has been, the Blue Man and his inquisitive, wide-eyed take on the world,” said Wink.

Throughout its run at Universal Orlando the show has had several different renovations to the act and the stage, but Stanton advises that there is one thing that has not and will not ever change: “The first few rows will still need to wear ponchos.”