Blue Man Group
In 2012 Stage Technologies worked with the Blue Man Group in both Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and at the Blue Man Theater at the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas. The Orlando project was a revamp of the group’s existing show, updating both show content and technology. In Las Vegas, as part of their move to their new home at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, Blue Man Group took their winning formula and reimagined it. However, unlike Orlando, this is a completely new show.
Time and space were in short supply for the Orlando retrofit. 2½ weeks were allotted for the revamp: seven days for load-out of the old and load-in of the new, seven days of technical rehearsals, two days of dress rehearsal, and then, Opening Night.
The biggest automation addition was the Hi Res LED Screen track and trolley system. Five BT200 winches, three lift and two travel, were required to automate three LED screens. The centre stage screen is lift only, while the stage left and stage right screens have lift and traverse, their movement optimized by anti-sway software.
Three BT290 multi-line point hoists were added to automate the Feast Wall, two LED screens, and a lighting truss.
Two Gerriets Roller Screen TUBEs were outfitted to be run via Stage Technologies controls. Additionally, the PVC Instrument Wagons, two existing friction-drive units, received new encoders and were tied in to Stage Technologies control.
The show’s finale includes the release of several inflated giant balls. An AU:tour IOSLAVE provided I/O relays for the release of these balls over the audience.
The Orlando system comprises:
Automation plays a large role in the new design of the new show in Las Vegas. One of the major additions to the show is a pair of Kuka Robots. These Robots are conveyed up and down stage via the Kuka Truck. This 9000lb (4082 kg) truck rides on two stainless steel tracks in the stage deck which house a stainless steel chain. The chain is engaged by two sprockets connected to a drive shaft in the truck.
Stage Technologies controls the truck, while the Robots are controlled through the front end system designed by Bot & Dolly. However, both safety systems are in constant communication with the other: if one system stops, a signal is sent to the other, stopping it immediately.
Housed inside the Kuka Truck is a friction drive cassette, dubbed the Marsupial. This drive cassette is used to move three different wagons US/DS, in the same path as the Kuka. When the Kuka Truck travels, the Marsupial is docked inside, with its drive wheel disengaged. In order to move one of the other wagons, the Marsupial’s drive wheel is lowered and cassette travels out of its dock in the Kuka Truck, and is connected to any of the three wagons.
Five cable reels housed inside the Kuka Truck connect to the Marsupial, which acts as a “patch bay” of sorts for the three wagons. Power, data, video, audio, and air are available for each wagon.
The PVC Instrument Truck has a friction wheel drive system. The truck’s drive mechanism may be lifted, allowing the truck to be manually pushed in the event of power loss or similar. The drive mechanism is raised and lowered using a pneumatic actuator controlled by pneumatic switches on the side of the truck.
Like Orlando, a track and trolley system has been installed to automate the Hi Res LED screens. The entire track and trolley system is mounted to 20” x 30” truss, which is suspended from four 1-ton D8+ chain hoists, providing easy access for maintenance.
The installation also includes five BT2-200 counterweight assist winches, nine D8+ chain hoists with load cells and encoders for the FOH truss, and an AU:tour IOSLAVE for the ball release finale.
The Las Vegas system includes: