BlueMax Theater Marlene-Dietrich-Platz
I spent Halloween evening at a hilarious Blue Man performance in Berlin! The unique multimedia show is appearing at the Stage BlueMax Theater on Marlene-Dietrich-Platz in Potsdam Square. It was sold out and totally fun!
“They are blue, they are three, they carry bald heads and do not make a sound…”
History and Founders
The show – a mesmerizing “mix of music, rhythms, comedy, and intense visual effects” – originated in the US, but is one of Berlin’s most successful long-term productions. There are productions in Las Vegas, New York City, Boston, Orlando, and Chicago. As the group’s first and only permanent venue outside the US, Blue Man Berlin began in 2004.
The show emerged from New York’s art scene during the late 1980s. The first performance was in 1988 with founders Phil Stanton, Matt Goldman, and Chris Wink as the first blue trio. Since then, the “three extremely creative bald heads have been unstoppable”. In 1991, they received a “well-deserved recognition of their talent,” the “Obie Award” for theater.
Blue Men interact with the audience during their performance – it’s part of the production. When prompted in German, the audience participated with verbal and body action. Brave audience members volunteer to sit front and center, wearing plastic ponchos for protection from sporadic paint spray. At one point, the three highly-fit Blue Men made wild animal-like crawling moves, climbing from the stage throughout seats in the theater!
Segments of the program feature randomly-chosen members of the audience. One was pretty intense, so I wonder if they actually “planted” that participant. There were two Olympic Gold Medal winners in the audience.
“Music and rhythm are integral parts of every Blue Man Group performance. In contrast to the band, the Blaumänner themselves do not play conventional electric guitars or drum kits, but specially created instruments.”
Unique Percussion Accompaniment
A live band, including an incredible drummer, accompanied the Blue Men on stage providing “an intense atmosphere reminiscent of a rock concert”. The “classic instrument of the troupe” is an impressive percussion made of PVC pipes. I’ve never seen anything like it. They also used a smaller but “just as ingenious drumbone – a fascinating fusion of drums and trombone”. The percussionists were fantastic!
In July 2017, Canadian Cirque du Soleil announced it is taking over the Blue Man Group parent company. The successful company “intends to market Blue Man Group worldwide, and diversify its performances”.
I enjoyed the amusing, somewhat hypnotic evening!