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Blue Man Group Sold To Cirque Du Soleil For 'Tens Of Millions'

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 6, 2017 9:50PM

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Blue Man Group / Facebook

One of Chicago's longest-running theatrical productions—and Tobias F√ľnke's dream job—is now officially under the management auspices of another famously over-the-top stage-spectacle company. Cirque du Soleil announced on Thursday that it has purchased Blue Man Productions, the company that stages Blue Man Group performances around the country, including in Chicago.

Blue Man Productions is based in New York, but as anyone in Chicago who's taxed their list of places to take their visiting parents knows, it has been running in our city for about 20 years, at Briar Street Theatre. Resident shows are also offered in New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Orlando and Berlin.

The move definitely looks like a pathway for Cirque, the long-running Montreal-based acid-trippy circus, to even further push BMG's reach on the global stage. "We want to broaden our horizons, develop new forms of entertainment, reach out to new audiences and expand our own creative capabilities," Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, said in a release.

"We are extremely excited to welcome the iconic Blue Man Group to our portfolio of shows. Their unbridled creativity makes them a perfect cultural fit for Cirque du Soleil," he added.

Cirque reportedly paid a pretty penny for that natural fit, too. Although they didn't specify what the paid for the iconically reticent cobalt baldies, the figure was somewhere in the "tens of millions," Lamarre told Tribune theatre critic and reporter Chris Jones.

What does it all mean for the Chicago run? Well, Cirque made a point to underline that the two brands would keep their personalities distinct from one another, so don't expect a wheel reinvention. The move certainly appears to be more about growth than retooling. So save its space on the old family-visit-destination list.