Blue Men invade Rhode Island


By Don Fowler

They’re back!

Those wild and crazy guys who paint their heads bright blue, throw toilet paper into the audience and bang on drums and plastic pipes.

And fans can’t get enough of them.

We first saw the Blue Man Group in Boston a couple of decades ago. I never laughed so much. Then I got home and sat down to write a review. How do I explain that they stuffed their mouths with marshmallows and Captain Crunch and used the food as projectiles.

I talked to Seattle native Corky Gainsford who has been connected to the show for the past 21 years as song writer, drummer, music director and producer.

“We take the audience on a different journey,” said Gainsford. “They relate to three weird guys on stage with a band behind them playing new music, somehow helping to explain what they are thinking.”

(The Blue Men don’t talk.)

“While we still do some of the original routines, much of what we do is new and some of it is improvised,” Gainsford said. “For the Providence show there are seven us, all from different cities where BMG performs, so we bring a lot of different cool stuff to the performance.”

Twenty-one years ago, Gainsford went for an interview for BMG at the urging of his girlfriend.

“They were looking for a drummer and guitar player,” Gainsford said. “I studied music in college and was doing some event productions and writing. I was one of five they hired from over 300 interviews. I thought it would be a short engagement, and I’m still with them.”

Gainsford couldn’t remember if he had been to Providence, but the chances are he has.

“I’m not sure where I am right now,” Gainsford said. (Iowa). “My home base is now Vegas. It’s just like living in the Northwest where it’s too cold to go outside. In Vegas it’s too hot.”

Blue Man Group has performed before over 35 million people around the world. (The men are still blue, but the rest is all new!)

Catch them at the Providence Performing Arts Center May 20-22. If you have never seen them, you will be in for an experience like no other. If you have seen them before, I know you’ll be there. I know I will!

Call 421-ART for tickets.


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