×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cirque du Soleil Acquires Blue Man Group

In a move that brings two large-scale live entertainment brands under the same umbrella, Cirque du Soleil has acquired Blue Man Productions for an undisclosed sum said to number in the tens of millions of dollars.

Both Cirque and Blue Man, the company behind New York’s downtown-gone-global Blue Man Group, share a level of international name recognition and a global reach rare in the realm of live performing-arts entertainment. In recent years, Cirque has grappled with the challenges of expansion and diversification, eventually resulting in a restructuring that led private equity firm TPG to become the major controlling shareholder of the troupe.

The acquisition of Blue Man marks one step on Cirque’s path toward growth and diversity. With its cheeky take on percussive performance art and its memorable aesthetic, Blue Man Group began as a small-scale show in New York more than 25 years ago and has since proliferated to play 20 countries. The company currently has six resident productions running in the U.S. and Germany, as well as North American and international tours.

“It’s part of the new strategy for Cirque du Soleil to diversify our content,” Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre told Variety. “Like Cirque, Blue Man Group has developed their own creativity, their own niche and their own brand, but we thought that the Blue Man Group brand was underdeveloped. With our marketing machine and our network of promoters around the world, we can really, really expand their brand.” (The Cirque and Blue Man brands will remain separate, he added.)

Popular on Variety

China will be one major focus of expansion for both companies, according to Lamarre, who said Cirque will soon unveil a couple of major projects there. Among other initiatives that aim to diversify the portfolio are a recently-announced pact with the NFL for a large-scale Times Square attraction, plus a new ice show that launches in October.

In New York, Cirque broke the legit-theater barrier with its first Broadway outing “Paramour,” which closed earlier this year without turning a profit. “Toruk,” the company’s team-up with James Cameron’s “Avatar” franchise, played stops in the New York area last fall.

More Legit

  • Mrs. Doubtfire BroadwayCon panel

    Listen: 'Mrs. Doubtfire' the Musical, Live From BroadwayCon

    In the Broadway-bound musical version of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” actor Rob McClure has the unenviable job of following in the footsteps of comedy great Robin Williams, who memorably played the title role in the 1993 film on which the stage show is based. Listen to this week’s podcast below: How does McClure hope to fill those [...]

  • Grand Horizons review

    'Grand Horizons': Theater Review

    Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one, as you surely must have: A nice, all-American family is in the process of breaking up and trying to make this sad state of affairs seem funny in Bess Wohl’s Broadway outing “Grand Horizons.” After 50 years of marriage, Nancy (the ever-elegant Jane Alexander) and Bill (the [...]

  • Uncle Vanya review

    'Uncle Vanya': Theater Review

    Director Ian Rickson has had success with Chekhov in the past. His exquisitely balanced, tragicomic production of “The Seagull” (2007 in London, 2008 on Broadway) was well-nigh flawless with, among others, Kristin Scott Thomas as painfully vulnerable as she was startlingly funny. Sadly, with his production of “Uncle Vanya,” despite felicities in the casting, lightning [...]

  • The Welkin review

    'The Welkin': Theater Review

    A life hanging perilously in the balance of charged-up, polarized opinions: This courtroom drama could easily have been titled “Twelve Angry Women.” But playwright Lucy Kirkwood (“Chimerica,” “The Children”) is far too strong and imaginative a writer for so hand-me-down a cliché. Instead she opts for “The Welkin,” an old English term for the vault [...]

  • Tina Fey attends the "Mean Girls"

    Tina Fey Announces Movie Adaptation of Broadway's 'Mean Girls' Musical

    It’s good to be mean…the “Mean Girls” musical, that is. Producers of the hit Broadway show announced today that the Tony-nominated production is being adapted for the big screen for Paramount Pictures. The musical is based on the 2004 movie of the same name. “I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,’ Tina Fey, [...]

  • Freestyle Love Supreme

    Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Freestyle Love Supreme' in Exclusive Clip From Sundance Documentary

    Before turning “Hamilton” and “In the Heights” into musical phenomenons, Lin-Manuel Miranda could have been found on stage, spouting off-the-cuff rhymes with his improv group, “Freestyle Love Supreme.” After performing across the globe, the troupe — founded 15 years ago by Miranda, his frequent collaborator Thomas Kail and emcee Anthony Veneziale — made its Broadway [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content