NEW YORK (CBSNew York) — For three decades, Blue Man Group has been marching to its own rhythm in theaters around the world.
As the iconic group celebrates its 30th anniversary, CBS2’s Ali Bauman joined them in their home theater on the Lower East Side to see how they keep the music alive.
“It’s 30 years, starting where we are,” said Mark Frankel. ”
Bauman joined Frankel, the current captain of the Blue Man Group, at the Astor Place Theater.
“Have you always wanted 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 standing on this stage and wondering how on earth this happened,” Frankel said.
That was 17 years ago. Frankel has since made about 3,000 appearances.
“And because there is a certain amount of improvisation in this show, the audience acts like a character. They’re our fourth character in the entire show,” Frankel said.
We’ve seen what happens when the iconic cobalt characters performed just for us.
“What do you think it is that has kept the show going for three decades?” asked Bauman.
“It all comes down to character, I believe. If you go to the park and you see a kid playing, or even if you go to the park and go to the dog run, there’s something captivating about it because they’re beings who are selfless, essentially egoless, and they just experience things on the moment. So the three Blue Men are very similar to that and because we don’t speak, the audience can see this happening and fill in their own story for any particular Blue Man or all three, or come forward with their own meaning as to why we’re doing this at all. For me, that’s the magnet. That’s the charm of this,” said Frankel.
The show was first hosted in 1991, written by three friends who compete against musicians from the ’80s.
“It was also a very self-centered, me-generation, sort 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 idea of ’egolessness’ and experience and collective, you know, experience, like, coming together,” Frankel said.
“Is that something the public craves right now, in 2021?” asked Bauman.
“Well, this is interesting because I think we’re in a moment that definitely goes back to where we were in the ’80s…Even without what we were going through COVID, this whole generation of social media, I think people crave to be together and put down the phones and spend time together. And I think the show is even more relevant now as an antidote to that,” Frankel said.
So what awaits the Blue Man Group in the next 30 years?
“I want this show and I want the whole theater to have it so that the future will be very bright and vibrant.” said Frankel.