There is something about being a Blue Man.
For Adam Zuick, who has spent nine years – minus the COVID pause – donning blue makeup and pretending to be a visitor from a strange new world on stages across the globe, it’s more than a job.
“It’s a dream come true every night,” he said in a recent phone interview. “It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a ‘quote unquote’ job.”
Zuick and his two other Blue Men will bring their rock-concert-meets-performance-art show to Spokane’s First Interstate Center for the Arts on Monday and Tuesday, as part of the STCU Best of Broadway series, presented by West Coast Entertainment.
Blue Man Group is a performance art company that formed in 1987 and now has resident companies in Boston, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas, and touring companies trekking around North America and the globe. Each show features three Blue Men, making music, making art and making audiences laugh. In a typical show, there will be weird noises made with PVC pipes, colorful drumming, physical comedy.
There’s no narrative story line, and one thing you won’t hear? Dialogue.
The three Blue Men remain mute throughout the show, something that strikes people who know Zuick as rather odd.
He was a musical theater kid at his Arizona high school, and spent more than a decade with Arizona Broadway Theater, performing such shows as “Forever Plaid,” “Grease” and “The Music Man.”
Now he gets paid to not speak, let alone sing. And he’s more than OK with that.
“Now I just sing with my eyes,” he said.
The current North American tour is an all-new show, Zuick said, and is different than what’s on stage in New York or Chicago. It also will be different than the Blue Man tour that came to Spokane in 2014. (He should know. He was on that tour. He says he usually is called “the tall one.”)
“The touring show is brand new,” Zuick said. “All fresh. All new songs, and a new set. … This cast got to be involved in the creation of it, and the instruments we get to play are weird and cool, and the set is big and expensive.”
The new set helps create a show that is less nebulous than its predecessors, Zuick said. In the past, the show has essentially set up our band of Blue Men to be transported into our space, to figure out what things are, what they do and how they operate. This time around, it’s like the audience is transported into their space.
“It’s a much more elaborate set,” he said. “It sets us up to know the space more, and to be able to bring the audien ce into it.”
One other longstanding tradition with Blue Man that will return to Spokane intact is the literal use of “bring the audience into it” – as in, someone will be pulled onto the stage to participate in some Blue Man shenanigans.
That’s a big part of what makes a Blue Man show so much fun, both for the actors and the folks in the auditorium.
“It’s different every night. It’s a different experience and a different audience. The audience is a like a fourth character,” Zuick said. “It’s a constantly changing experience. The people that we bring up on stage, we never know what they’re going to do.”
For Zuick, the troupe’s two-day stint in Spokane will be more than a chance to see a city he visited on tour eight years ago. After spending his early childhood in Western Washington, his family to moved to Spokane for a couple years, and he attended Sacajawea Middle School.
“I have great memories of Spokane, of sledding at Manito Park,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being there.”
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