Interactive Blue Man Group exhibit brings the pipes to Museum of the City of New York

Blue Man Matt Ramsey demonstrates the percussive PVC pipe instrument at the new "Blue Man Group: Ready ... Go!" exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Visitors to “Blue Man Group: Ready … Go!” can play the group’s original PVC pipe instrument when the exhibit opens on Friday.

Blue Man Matt Ramsey demonstrates the percussive PVC pipe instrument at the new
Blue Man Matt Ramsey demonstrates the percussive PVC pipe instrument at the new “Blue Man Group: Ready … Go!” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Thirty-two pounds of Jell-O, 44 boxes of Twinkies, 385 marshmallows and 28 cakes of custom blue makeup all go in to a week in the life of the Blue Man Group, the company that began putting on its famous shows decades ago. And now, visitors to the Museum of the City of New York can experience some of the magic.

The museum will offer a new interactive exhibit, “Blue Man Group: Ready … Go!”, from Friday to Sept. 2. Similar to the group’s interactive shows, in which a blue character explores the world through pop culture, the exhibit beams with bright neon colors, UV paint, LED screens and even the group’s original 27-year-old PVC pipe instrument that guests can play.

“If you take a good look at these pipes you’ll see some evidence of what happens during the show. There’s paint, there’s food, there’s all kinds of stuff. Over the years, that takes its toll on anything,” said Blue Man Group member Matt Ramsey. “This set represents the years of love that the blue men have provided the instrument.”

Blue Man Group shows are filled with vibrant colors, paint-filled drums, food such as Cap’n Crunch cereal and other items meant to showcase the character’s embodiment of childlike joy and innocence.

Whitney Donhauser, president of the museum, said the curators wanted to bring those elements to the exhibit to create an extension of the stage experience. 

The colorful entrance to "The Blue Man Group: Ready...Go!" exhibit on view at the Museum of the City of New York.
The colorful entrance to "The Blue Man Group: Ready…Go!" exhibit on view at the Museum of the City of New York. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

“To be able to give so many people an opportunity to actually imagine themselves as the blue man is something that’s never happened before,” she said. “It’s such a good testament to the creative energy that exists in this city and how it’s able to contribute globally to such an important part of theater and performance.”

Along with an interactive music room, guests can also see a map of where the original group got started performing in New York City and a juxtaposed timeline of the Blue Man Group and historical events.

“I also love … how the exhibit shows the formation of the company and what’s happening in New York City at the time,” said Ramsey. “I think that’s a really fascinating thing for people to realize.”

Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink brought the Blue Man Group to life in 1980s on the Lower East Side. They have performed at venues throughout the world and continue regular performances at Astor Place Theatre. On Aug. 7, they will also perform at MCNY’s free summer block party called Uptown Bounce.

“Blue Man Group: Ready … Go!” will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Li Yakira Cohen