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The Eminem controversy may have been the biggest story going into the recent Grammy Awards show, but Blue Man Group was the big one coming out of it. The voiceless percussion trio's astonishing performance with Moby and Jill Scott essentially stole Eminem's fire, and coupled with its current appearance in Intel’s Pentium computer chip TV commercials, has thrust the mysterious group-and its three skeletal backup musicians--into its brightest visibility in the 14 years since its inception. 

The first Blue Men appeared in New York City in 1988. They consisted of nine friends who’d met at a salon gathering, who decided to stage a funeral for the 80’s in Central Park. A piece of performance art, they symbolically threw Yuppies, cocaine and other artifacts of the day into a symbolic coffin that represented an “anti-time” capsule. 

As artist- waiters, the three founders Chris Wink, Phil Stanton, and Matt Goldman decided to take a big risk, and perform at the small-but-not-when-half-empty Astor Place Theatre in 1991. At the time, they used publicity to get attention, as well as founder Goldman’s technique of showing up early at the theatre, and trying to round up an audience out on the street. “We were killing ourselves, still creating the show while we were doing it”, he says. 

What a difference a decade has made. Now, there are some 33 Blue Men and 50 musicians rotating between New York, Boston, and Chicago, where the long-running "Blue Man: Tubes" productions remain ongoing, and Las Vegas, where "Blue Man Group-Live at

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 15 - September 2018
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