Blue Man Group comes to Miami's Arsht Center

Photo by Paul Kolnik

It’s hard to describe just what the Blue Man Group’s show is about.

Long on spectacle and short on dialogue (there is none), the multimedia performance centers on three bald and blue humanoids.

“A lot of people think he’s an alien,” explains Antonio Aguirre, a string player from Miami who performs in the show’s band. “Or he’s someone from another culture. He’s an outsider. He’s an innocent who’s come here to learn about our culture. And when he does this, he offers a new perspective, which is where the humor comes in. Instead of words, he uses color … and music to express his emotions.”

From Tuesday through Sunday, May 18, the touring company of the Blue Man Group will touch down at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Following is some background on Aguirre.


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ON HIS MIAMI ROOTS: Aguirre, 29, grew up in Kendall (“right by the Falls,” he says), attending Palmer Trinity School and graduating from Miami Palmetto High School in 2002 before attending Florida State University, where he earned a degree in international affairs. His family — mother Lois Dimos also lives in Miami, while younger brother Nicolas is in Denver — moved to South Florida from Illinois in 1998 so his father, Carlos, could teach art and art history at the University of Miami.

“I’m so glad he did,” Aguirre says. “Miami has a broad range of culture, especially for someone half Peruvian like myself. Miami is not only at home with that but empowered by it.”

ON WHAT HE PLAYS IN THE SHOW: “I only play guitar for one song. During a show I will play one of two roles: either electric zither/guitar or Chapman stick/bass. The electric zither and Chapman stick are the primary instruments used during the show.”

ON GETTING IN THE SHOW: Aguirre spent most of his middle school and high school years playing in bands, including Inca Spirit, which played a fusion of South American folk tunes, world music and jazz. It was while touring with “another incarnation of my band from high school, same people 10 years later,” that he ended up in Orlando, where the band was based and where his girlfriend Karly Blake saw an ad for Blue Man Group auditions.

“I wasn’t really into it, but she pushed and pushed and pushed,” he recalls. “To get her to stop, I sent in my modified resume.”

ON BEING PART OF THE TOUR: Not only did he get the gig but he found he fit in well with the cast. He explains: “There’s definitely a vibe among all the employees. There’s a certain personality type where everyone seems to mesh very well. I would say it in three words: creative, positive and modest. They’re really good people, very fun to be around with very little ego. Coming from the music world, there is a lof of that. It’s nice to be in a place where no one has it.”

ON HIS FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW: “It’s the moment where they’re having a feast, and they invite a guest from the audience to join them. For me, as a musician, that is the most fun, because that part is radically different from night to night, because it is all improvisation. All of us are scoring live action, and the energy and what the actors are doing in the crowd and not just the actors but the audience, too.”

ON THE FIRST THING HE WANTS TO DO WHEN HE GETS HOME: “Go back to my house. My dad still lives there. We have breakfast and we hang out, and I see the dog [a brown Labrador named Chocolate] and shoot the bull about whatever is going on. I usually like to stop by my mom’s school. She founded an alternative high school, so I’d like to see my mom’s school. It’s called Palmetto Bay Academy. And I’ll hit up the Chicken Kitchen and the Hungry Bear Sub Shop. That’s a great little gem.”

Blue Man Group will appear Tuesday through Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $26. Call 305-949-6722 or go to ArshtCenter.org.