Every city has a list of “must try” experiences. After 15 years, the Blue Man Group counts as one of those iconic Chicago experiences. Since October 1997 this quirky, one-of-a-kind show has filled the Briar Street Theater night after night with a healthy mix of locals and tourists. Chicagoans (and suburban dwellers like me) have nearly all seen the show at some point, so we have a tendency to say,”Oh, yeah. Blue Man Group. Great show, but I’ve seen it before.”
If that sounds like you, then it’s time for a return visit!
After so many years, any show needs a little reconcepting and Blue Man Group has always known that. Many of the signature scenes that have made Blue Man Group one of today’s best-loved theatrical productions have been in the show since its opening. Recently, they have added newer passages including Blue Men interacting with “GiPads;” a funny and perceptive look at contemporary communication vehicles; and a pulsating finale featuring an original Blue Man Group music score. If you’re at all into social media (texting, Tweeting, posting to Instagram, etc.) then you will particularly enjoy the quirky Blue Man parody of the whole social media craze.
But wait! There’s more!
One of the reasons I think Chicagoland theater-goers should make a return trip to Blue Man Group is their cool “VIP Experience” package. Recently, I was invited to take a friend along to experience this new promotion.
You know that scene in that movie where a gigantic bouncer is not letting anyone into the “hot” club because their “name is not on the list”? The Blue Man Group VIP Experience is kind of like that club, only more awesome. Actually, there’s not actually a bouncer, a clipboard or a velvet rope at Blue Man Group either but the VIP experience is definitely worth trying out.
As a VIP, you’ll enjoy some seriously special treatment that includes food, drinks, premium seats, free music and a private photo op. The evening begins with a Prix Fixe dinner at Jack’s on Halsted (located at 3201 North Halsted Street, on the corner of Belmont & Halsted). This promotional menu includes choice of appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages. Take my advice, bring along a little extra cash and try one of Jack’s amazing cocktails. Most nights, they have at $7 martini list. Their mixologists are not only talented, they also pour a generous cocktail. For my visit, I tried a dry Hendrick’s martini that was filled to the brim and perfectly prepared. The food is also superb and the service is first-rate.
After dinner, walk a short block to the Briar Street Theater where you will be able to use your free drink vouchers for a pre-show libation. Once you have your free drinks, one of the ushers will give you a cool VIP pass. Hang that around your neck and everyone starts to look at you thinking, “I wonder who that is? They’re a VIP!” The usher will escort you personally to your premium seats and will come get you just as the bows are starting at the end of the show. From there, you will be escorted up to the balcony for a private “meet and greet” with one of the Blue Men. Unlike the “traditional” photo ops going on the lobby, this Blue Man will most likely engage you in lively conversation about the show instead of remaining eerily silent.
For anyone who has seen the show, but hasn’t been back in the past year or so it is definitely worth another try. If you haven’t seen the show, “What are you waiting for?”\
Blue Man Group performs at the Briar Street Theater, located at 3133 North Halsted Street. Additional performances have been added in June, July and August to accommodate summer visitors to Chicago (and Chicago natives who want a fun night out on the town). For information, visit the Website or call the Box Office at (773) 348-4000.