The world-renowned Blue Man Group returns to Knoxville March 9-10, 2016 at the historic Tennessee Theatre.
The Blue Man Group was founded in 1987 and has become a worldwide sensation. Currently performing regularly at Universal Studios in Orlando, they are an eclectic blend of comedy, theater, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one. This wildly popular phenomenon delivers an unforgettable multi-sensory experience, providing an outrageous evening of entertainment that has captivated 35 million people worldwide.
Steven Wendt joined the group after graduating Cal Arts. He posts an impressive resume, having worked as a puppeteer for the Cartoon Network and Kids WB where he helped create trailers for the “Planet of the Apes” and “Cowboys and Aliens.” This led to other projects, including a stint with Disney performing in “Ground to Cloud Redcat” at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Wendt is an accomplished pianist, banjo picker and guitar player.
In their quest for theatrical excellence, the producers of the Blue Man Group show require potential Blue Men to undergo a long arduous audition process.
“I was doing a lot of theater in Los Angeles when a friend suggested I audition for Blue Man Group,” said Wendt. “I was invited to audition and afterwards, I was called back during three days of call backs. I was hired on a trial basis and sent to New York for four months of training. It was nerve racking. I could have been cut at any time.”
The training paid off and Wendt began an engagement playing at Universal Studios as a full-fledged member of Blue Man Group. The show involves three entertainers dressed in black clothing and donning blue makeup. They emerge into the world experiencing everything with a sense of wonderment. As Wendt explains, the premise of the show is the Blue Men “do extraordinary things with ordinary stuff.”
The group utilizes various themes including innocence of experiencing and understanding the world around them. The Blue Men are naïve about cultural norms such as inviting an audience member to come upon stage and enjoy an elegant dinner with Twinkies. The show features 4-D effects in which large stick people appear to walk off the stage. With the use of special effects, complex lighting and eclectic music, the group creates a dazzling show that keeps audiences riveted.
The logistics of staging such a production are astounding. The group brings in six semi-tractor trailers loaded with lighting, speakers and other theatrical props. The show is comprised of a cast and crew of 24 people (16 technicians, four musicians and four performers) who work to create a magical evening of enchantment and music that is sure to keep the audience on their feet. The Blue Man Group is an enemy of monotony, remedy for boredom and a promoter of overjoy and elation.
The success of the show has allowed Wendt to travel across the nation and to numerous foreign countries.
“We go out for six months at a time,” said Wendt. “BMG is performed regularly in Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando and Las Vegas. And will soon kick off a new international show that will start in Singapore.”
The six months hiatus during the production of the show gives cast members time to work on other projects. Wendt traveled to Brussels, Belgium where he played a role in the independent film “Under the Influence.”
The Tennessee Theatre is located at 604 South Gay Street in Knoxville, Tenn. The Blue Man Group takes the stage at 8 p.m. For ticket information visit www.tennesseetheatre.com.
Photos Courtesy of Blue Man Group