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By Thomas Connors | Photo: Lindsey Best © Blue Man Productions, LLC | August 16, 2016
Blue Man member Tom Galassi muses on a life in color.
Initially christened performance art but long since a show biz juggernaut, Blue Man Group has been going strong for 25 years this November. And its Chicago franchise has been a must-see at Lakeview’s Briar Street Theatre since 1997. Springfield native Tom Galassi slapped on the blue 18 years ago and remains a committed member of this curious brotherhood. “When I got this show, I thought maybe I would do it for a year or so,” he says. “After several years, you realize your Blue Man character is simply you—a raw and curious, maybe purer version of yourself.”
As a kid, Galassi and his brother absconded with the family video camera and ran to the woods to make movies. “That was the beginning of the show business bug,” he says. “I made my own magic show and radio shows recorded on cassette.” After graduating with a degree in theater from Western Illinois University, Galassi headed for New York, where he saw the boys in blue for the first time. “It was the most amazing show I had ever seen, and the music really struck me. It left a feeling in me that I still have.”
Blue Man Group celebrates its anniversary nationally with the release this month of its first book, Blue Man World. In Chicago, winning work from the Blue Man Group Art Competition will be on view at the theater. And up on stage, Galassi will happily disappear in his monochromatic get-up. “I’ve only been recognized once, at the grocery store. This lady kept staring at me. I asked her what was up. She said, ‘You are one of the Blue Men! I saw you last night.’ It was nice. But I prefer that didn’t happen. We are like undercover superheroes.” $59-$109, 3133 N. Halsted St., 773.348.4000
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