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Blue Man Group heads to Fresno

November 2, 2019

For The Madera Tribune

The Blue Man Group will make a two-day appearance at Fresno’s Saroyan Theater as part of its Speechless Tour.

The Blue Man Group will make a two-day appearance at Fresno’s Saroyan Theater as part of its Speechless Tour.

 

The tour features new and original compositions, acts and instruments and will perform Nov. 6 and 7. Tickets can be purchased by  visiting broadwayinfresno.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Box Office. 

 

The Blue Man Group is so iconic that one of its performers fell in love with the show more than 20 years ago and has been living the dream for the past 16 years. 

 

“I just love the show,” Mike Brown said in a phone interview from Cheyenne, Wyoming. “It’s a meaningful thing for me. I first saw the show in 1997 and completely fell in love with it. It became a dream of mine to become a Blue Man. I still can’t believe I get to do it.”

 

Brown became a Blue Man after working as a crew member. He went to school for theater and also self-taught himself to play the drums so he would have a better chance at becoming a Blue Man. 

 

“There are certain requirements within the regular audition,” he said. “You have to be between 5'10" and 6'2" so there is a uniform look. Drumming and acting skills are a plus, but it’s not something you need. Some guys learn those skills while becoming a Blue Man. It also doesn’t hurt to catch things in your mouth. However, that’s a practicable skill. It helps to have an open, fun personality that’s willing to go with the flow and be yourself. 

 

“I would help set up props backstage. While the show was going on, I would practice on a drum pad while the Blue Men were playing the show. I had a little bit of insider knowledge. I knew going in, it was something I really wanted. If I didn’t get it, I at least tried.”

 

Even though he has been a part of the show for the past 16 years, Brown is still in awe of what he gets to do. 

 

“It’s unbelievable, especially to be a part of this new show that is being created,” he said. “I feel fortunate and lucky to have ended up in this position to be able to work with this way and this company. It’s a literal dream come true. There isn’t a show that goes by where I don’t think how lucky and fortunate I am to get to this point. I worked really hard to achieve something I really wanted.”

 

The Blue Man Speechless tour wrapped up in Wyoming and made its way this weekend to San Jose before heading to Fresno on Wednesday and Thursday. 

 

“It’s always fun to explore and meet the people in those areas,” Brown said. “It’s nice to see what’s in the town.”

 

With the new show, Brown had to learn new instruments and new songs, especially how to play the new instruments with the other members of the group. 

 

“A lot of the way the designers saw the instrument playing, when we came in to play it, we said to play it a different way to implement our feedback,” he said. “One piece we have in the show, the Antenna Song, they told us the song and instrument. They said to figure out how it is done. Then, they said to play it all together.”

 

One of the attributes that Brown brings is a sense of innocence and also a sense of anonymity. He says he gets to think he’s a superhero. 

 

“I can perform a show for someone,” Brown said. “An hour later, I can be standing on a street standing next to them. That happened recently. We had a woman who worked at the theater that we were performing that didn’t recognize us. She told us it must be nice to know those guys. She didn’t know she was talking right to us. It’s like being a superhero. 

 

“All Blue Men are cut from the same cloth so we all bring the same quality. One of my attributes is I’m a kid at heart. I bring the pure raw innocence to the performance. I free myself to a moment. It may not be ideal, but that is where the pure magic and pure quality of the show is. I like to use my energy to get to that part of the show where you don’t know what’s going happen.”

 

Brown is originally from Virginia Beach and then moved to Boston where he has also performed in the Blue Man Group show there. 

 

“I did the touring national show 2013-2015 and did the show in Boston for four years,” he said. “I have done other projects with the Blue Man Group.”

 

When Brown heads to a new town, one of the things he likes to do is check out local comic book or toy stores. 

 

“It’s kind of like antiquing,” he said. “What usually happens is I’ll spend too much money and have to ship it back home. I have an extensive collection waiting for me. I love 1980’s toys — Transformers, Centurions, Mask. I have all the Mask  characters.”

 

The current tour will last through 2020 until about April and take a break during December. However, Brown says that he has enjoyed every minute of his experience with the Blue Man Group and enjoys telling people about it. 

 

“I work with great people every night,” he said. “It’s just super fun. I don’t know why I would ever walk away from it. I could talk about this all afternoon. It’s a really wonderful thing I get to do and I’m psyched to share it with everyone. I hope everyone comes out to see the show.”

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