The Blue Man Group, 25 Years Later
They are bald, blue and earless. They do not talk. They play with their food (and their paint), perform wild music on instruments of their own devising and are the centerpiece of an international entertainment empire with 550 full- and part-time employees and annual revenues of $100 million.
But perhaps the most striking thing about the men of Blue Man Group, which began as a nebulous let’s-do-something-weird response to the banality of downtown culture in the late 1980s, is how comprehensively they have moved from the fringes to the mainstream, and beyond.
In November, the group celebrated its 25th anniversary in a manner befitting an institution whose brand reverberates far beyond the city limits but that also shouts “Manhattan” as thoroughly as the Rockettes or the Circle Line.
Cities with permanent Blue Man productions — Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; Boston; Chicago; and New York — declared Nov. 17 “Blue Man Group Day.” Madame Tussauds in Times Square unveiled limited-edition wax figures. There was a party at the Highline Ballroom. And the Blue Men got to flip a switch and turn the Empire State Building blue for a night.
From “How Blue Turned to Green” by Sarah Lyall for The New York Times, 2016; Photo by Lindsey Best (@lindzbest)
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