Starting one week from tonight, Starlight Theatre will be basking in blue as the theatrical production of Blue Man Group kicks off the newest leg of its North American tour on our Cohen Community Stage. Through at least next April, the Blue Men and their supporting instrumentalists will be traveling cross-country to 49 U.S. cities and one – Moscow on Dec. 3-13 – that doesn’t quite fit on a North American map.
Before embarking on his latest Blue Man travels, Jesse Nolan, the tour’s music director, drummer and percussionist, shared his insights about life on the road with Movement Magazine:
Q. What are some of the biggest production and personal challenges when touring?
A. From a production standpoint, moving venues at a rate of one- to three-per-week is, perhaps, one of our largest challenges for a show of this size. Unlike our stationary shows (New York, Boston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Berlin, Norwegian Cruise Lines), which have the luxury of moving into a permanent space, the touring show must maintain flexibility in order to adapt to different size venues and stages. Thankfully, the show is designed in such a way to make this possible.
Both the technical aspects of the production and the actual performance and content of the show are adaptable, depending on the capabilities and size of a particular venue. From a performance and content standpoint, the Blue Men and band members routinely make changes to the show to accommodate a particular venue. These include the addition or removal of music or show content, blocking changes, cue changes and more. From a technical standpoint, props, scenery, stage spikes and other items all have a necessary flexibility. Our cast and crew of immensely talented individuals function as a collaborative group, solving problems together in a way that always has the aesthetic quality of our productions in mind.
From a personal standpoint, there is certainly an element of fatigue that comes with the touring lifestyle but, at the same time, touring with a company like Blue Man Group is an incredibly rewarding and fun experience that has given me the opportunity to see the world and share the transcendent nature of our show with tens of thousands of people. Working beside some of the most gracious and talented musicians, technicians and performers has also been a highlight of my touring experience.
Blue Man Group with its wildly theatrical and totally unique blend of comedy, music and technology is ready to paint Kansas City blue! Don’t miss this show at Starlight Theatre on Sept. 9-14. Tickets are going fast!