March 6, 2007
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RELEASES CONCEPT IMAGES AND DETAILS OF NEW BLUE MAN GROUP VENUE
Orlando, Fla. – Blue Man Group, the wildly successful live entertainment experience, will perform from a specially created theater at Universal Studios theme park starting June 7. Universal’s Sound Stage 18 is being re-designed as a 1,000-seat theater complete with its own box office, and will be accessible from both Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios theme park.
The re-design includes a stunning exterior as well as interior features specially designed for the Blue Man experience.
On the outside, 30-foot-tall Blue Men – the largest Blue Man images ever created - mark the entrance to the new theater. Their size makes them visible from nearly everywhere inside Universal’s CityWalk. And inside, there is a set design that has evolved from the original New York production, still running at the Astor Place Theatre. Its purpose: to create an environment for the Blue Man character to connect with the audience in a visceral way.
The Blue Man Group Band, a live presence in all Blue Man Group shows, will hover above the stage in two loft-like boxes. The lofts are connected to the rest of the space with a series of large pipes - similar to the pipes the Blue Man Group uses as part of its unique instruments. The pipes supplement the theater’s audio system and allow the band’s sound to reach audience members in a unique way.
“Creating a theater in a sound stage gives us a great foundation for installing and running technical elements for the show,” said Paul Ackerman, Senior General Manager/Production at Blue Man Group. “The space provides an ideal acoustic environment with silent HVAC systems, which will allow for the sonic experience of the show to stand out and captivate the audience.”
Video has been an important part of Blue Man Group since the beginning and the Orlando show will be no exception. In addition to the main screen on the stage, which conveys most of the show’s video imagery, the theater’s sophisticated video system uses the entire set as a projection surface. The set becomes a giant canvas which the Blue Man uses to connect with the audience.
Audio visual veterans at Scharff-Weisberg designed the video system which will be used in the new theater. The new technology, already in use on the “How To Be a Megastar Tour 2.0,” allows for the video elements of the show to be integrated with and controlled by the lighting system.
The new theater will have orchestra seating throughout, maintaining an intimate setting that allows all audience members to feel close to the action onstage. The seating design also provides comfortable seating and excellent sightlines in every seat. The “poncho” section, as it is playfully called, will be located in the front of the house and will provide a more up close and personal experience for guests who don’t mind the possibility of getting splashed by the Blue Men as they perform. A lobby area is also being created with concession, retail and event space.
The renovation of Sound Stage 18 also includes the installation of a new entrance through CityWalk, allowing guests to access the theatre without purchasing a theme park ticket. Tickets for the new show are on sale now, with opening night set for June 7. Contact the Universal Orlando ticket line at 888-340-5476 or visit www.universalorlando.com
for more information.