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The Crown Welcomes The Blue Man Group To Town PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MICHAEL SMITH   
Monday, 20 October 2014

uac102214001.gif Unique, energetic, heart-pounding, amazing, these are all words that have been used to describe a show that is coming to Fayetteville on Nov. 6, as the Crown Theatre welcomes the world famous Blue Man Group.

The Blue Man Group is currently on a 50-city tour that began at the end of September and runs through April. The show is part of Fayetteville Live, a three-show series at the Crown that also includes Stomp on Jan. 11, 2015 and Celtic Woman on April 8.

The Blue Man Group was originally formed back in 1987 by three men, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton. The show they created was a blend of powerful percussion and unique visuals and featured a set of characters that are special, to say the least. The three men donned black jumpsuits, blue face paint and blue bald caps to become the enigmatic Blue Men.

Since those original three men started the phenomena that has spanned the globe, more than 150 more men have donned the blue paint to call themselves a Blue Man. Currently, there are between 80 and 100 men working in teams of three performing worldwide. The group has permanent shows in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Orlando and Berlin to go along with the touring team that is coming to Fayetteville.

One of the Blue Men who will be appearing in Fayetteville is Mike Brown, who first saw the group back in 1997, when he said he, “fell in love with them and dreamed of working with them.” A few months later, his dream came true when he was hired to work on the backstage crew. Brown was classically trained in theater and also played the drums in a series of bands with friends. So, with the urging of friends and family, he answered an open casting call for new Blue Men. He won a spot and has spent the past 11 years touring from city to city as a part of the group.

Brown is excited to play before the local fans. He said that in preparing for the show, he learned of the city’s connection to Fort Bragg. Brown said that the prospect of playing before a large military audience is exciting. It is something he has done before and wants to do again.

“We performed at West Point last year and that was amazing. When we got there, we looked out over a sea of cadets all in their uniforms. That was kind of a change because everyone was wearing the exact same thing and our show likes to magnify people’s individuality. We had fun using our imaginations with that … it is always exciting for us to be able to give back to those who are serving.”

Brown added that The Blue Man Group show is centered on percussive music that is, “very tribal, you are going to feel it inside your body, inside your heart. Hopefully, inside your soul and who you are as a person. Drums are perfect for that because it drives right into a part of your body and your being that you can feel and understand. This energy can build up inside of you. It really is beautifully scored music that will give you goose bumps. You can really expect the music to move through you and, hopefully, elicit a change.”

One of the trademarks of a Blue Man Group show is the feeling of spontaneity that the show carries. Brown described the group’s preparation and attitude towards their shows, “We want everything about being a Blue Man to represent the ‘in the moment’ feeling of our show. You want it to feel like a show is happening for the first time and the first time only. In terms of character preparation, when you become a Blue Man you learn the regular things like the blocking and how to play the music and doing certain artistic things. 10-22-14-blue-man-group-portrait.gif

“But there is another element that you can’t really plan for, that is just being in the moment and responding with your instincts and your impulses to play from the audience. That is something that you can’t really prepare for, but it is very conducive to Blue Men.” He continued, “It’s all happening for the first time so it is a trial by fire type of thing.”

He went on to say that part of being a Blue Man is, “being comfortable with yourself and what is going on around you to just have fun. To let your inner child come out and say, this might be crazy and dangerous but that is the fun of it!”

According to Brown, audiences that attend a Blue Man show are at a loss for words when leaving a show, “Often afterwards, you are not really able to describe it. That’s because it causes feelings inside of you that are tangible. It makes you speechless. As we grow up we start to shy away from the types of things that might cause us to get embarrassed, maybe because we don’t want to get in trouble. The Blue Men urge you and welcome you to move past that and get to that place where you are like, ‘this is natural home-grown fun’. Not only do the Blue Men share that with the audience, but the audience shares that with each other. I have seen people that, by the end of the show, who were strangers, dancing with each other and high-fiving having a great time together. That is the spirit of the show, connecting people in that way. ”

Brown encourages everyone to come out and enjoy the show, “Everybody has a Blue Man in them. It doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, male or female. We like to use the show to help people find that. Really, there are 6 billion Blue Men in the world … If you want to have the time of your life, come see Blue Man Group!”

Tickets for the show are still available through Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and in person at the Crown Complex Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. To purchase a package of tickets that covers all three shows offered by Fayetteville Live call 888.512.BWAY (2929) and online at www.fayettevilleliveshows.com.

Photo:  The Blue Man Group has been entertaining audiences since the late ‘80s. Fayetteville will get a chance to enjoy their unique sound on Nov. 6.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 October 2014 )
2014/2015 Fayetteville FireAntz Look To Score Big This Season PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 13 October 2014

uac101514001.gif As the temperatures drop, things are heating up at the Crown Coliseum as Fayetteville FireAntz fans get ready for the opening puck of hockey season.

With seven strong returning players and what Director of Media-Communications Jason Fleming calls, “some very exciting new blood,” the team is poised to strike. The first home game of the season is set for Oct. 24 with a quick turn around and another game on Oct. 25.

Head Coach Emery Plauson is returning for a second year. A native of Canmore, Alberta, he joined the team midway through the 2013-2014 season. No stranger to the game, Plauson played nine professional hockey seasons. He played on the Fayetteville FireAntz team from 2008-10. According to his bio, in 508 professional games played, he tallied 199 goals, 242 assists and 441 points. He is a graduate of St. Thomas University.

Plauson is hard at work building a team that he hopes will bring home a trophy from the Southern Professional Hockey League championships later in the season.

Fleming is excited about the new lineup. Austin Daae comes to the team from the Saskatchewan Hockey League in Canada, where he was the leading scorer and MVP last year.

“Emery, our head coach, is familiar with that league and has seen Austin play. He is going to score a ton of points,” said Fleming.

It’s looking good for the team’s goalies, as well. At the time of this writing, the team faces a tough decision in choosing two out of three goal tenders interested in signing with the team.

“We have three really outstanding goal tenders coming into to camp,” said Fleming. “Sam Marotta — he is a rookie — who attended Mary Mac College and the Vancouver Cannucks camp when he was a junior in college. Kevin Murdock played with Lake Superior State, which is also a Division One school, for all four years of his college career. It is great to get Division One guys here. This is going to be spectacular. He put up tremendous numbers in college. Scott Lewan is another rookie. He’s from Wisconsin River Falls. These three outstanding goal tenders will compete for two spots on the team.”

The roster of returning players is looking good, too, and Fleming expects to see great things from the FireAntz team in the 2014-2015 season. “Forward John Clewlow was our leading scorer last year. He’s back and we are looking forward to having him back on the team,” said Fleming. “We have re-signed Ryan Hand, a forward defenseman who who put up a fight in every game. Overall, our top two lines are going to be exciting to watch and will put up a lot of points. Our third line is really tough and will be hard to play against. Our defensive unit, led by returner Cory Toy and Zach Carriveau, is set to be the best defensive unit in the entire league.” 

Playing a good game is important to the FireAntz but the team is also committed to its fans and to the community. Look for a variety of theme nights and fun events throughout the community this season. Opening weekend is Oct. 24-25 and is sponsored by Black’s Tire. The FireAntz will have a presence at all of the Black’s Tire locations in the community. Stop by and meet the team and get into the spirit of the game. The 82nd Airborne Chorus is set to sing at opening night. The chorus is a favorite in the community and adds a sense of patriotism to any event.

The FireAntz team has always been a strong supporter of the military. This season is no different. Saturday, Nov. 1 is Military Appreciation Night. This is always a fun time. Several of the FireAntz corporate sponsors have purchased blocks of tickets to give away.

“Something fun we are doing for this particular Military Appreciation Night is that the team is wearing military-themed jerseys that represent all of the different branches of the military,” said 10-15-14-fireantz-john-clewlow.gifFleming. The jerseys will be auctioned off to the fans after the game.

The team is eager to start the season and Fleming expects it to be one that the fans will enjoy.

“Our Head Coach does a heck of a job recruiting,” said Fleming. “I am more excited about this season than I was our championship year in 2006-2007.”

Find out more about the FireAntz at http://antzhockey.pointstreaksites.com/view/fireantz/home-page-861.

Photo: John Clewlow, last season’s leading scorer is back this year, bringing excitement and goals to the Crown.


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