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Blue Man Group tops charts for ticket sales at civic center

By Matt Russell

The Post-Bulletin

They have blue heads, their popularity is rising and they’ve made Mayo Civic Center history before even coming to Rochester.

The Blue Man Group brings its high-energy, multi-media performance to the civic center’s Taylor Arena Monday. With tickets up to $85 selling faster than you can say "phenomenon," the show has already grossed more than $263,000 in ticket sales, or more than any other act at the civic center, including Johnny Cash, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers, KISS and Bon Jovi.

"I do not believe we’ve ever broken $200,000 before in our 20-plus year history of the Taylor Arena," said Donna Drews, Mayo Civic Center’s executive director.

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The Blue Man Group’s stop in Rochester is part of its "How to Be a Megastar 2.0" tour that’s hitting both mid-sized and bigger cities around the country, including St. Paul, where the group performed at the 15,000-seat Xcel Energy Center last week.

The Blue Man Group started roughly 20 years ago when three friends, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton, disguised themselves as blue-colored men and performed creative routines around New York City. The act soon became an off-Broadway show, leading to appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and three albums, one of which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental category.

Today, the Blue Man Group has grown into an international enterprise: The organization has a legion of blue men performing live shows not only in Berlin, London and Amsterdam, but also in Las Vegas, New York, Chicago and Boston.

Even as the group plans to start a new live show in Orlando, Fla., in June, it recently collaborated with Swatch to design a Blue Man Group watch, released a toy instrument line, and created a museum exhibit called "Making Waves" that’s touring children’s museums around the country.

The Blue Man Group’s performances usually feature three black-clad, blue-headed men who don’t talk or sing, performing with an eight-piece band. The shows typically combine percussion-heavy music, comedy, commentary on modern society and audience participation.

Go & Do

What: The Blue Man Group’s "How to be a Megastar 2.0" tour

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

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Where: Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Dr. S.E., Rochester

Tickets: $49.50 and $85. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Mayo Civic Center’s box office or through Ticketmaster, by phone at 252-1010 and on the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

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