Blue Man Group to Perform in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; Kamyar Khalili of Yak Events Reveals More
by Rachael Rajan Entertainment | March 17, 2017 | Interview
Blue Man Group YAK Events Dubai Opera du Forum Yas Island
The acclaimed Blue Man Group, known for their exhilarating performances that combine theatre, dance, comedy and music, are all set to stage shows in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi this April. Known for their distinctively dressed performers and the creative experience they create on stage, Blue Man Group was founded by the trio comprising Chris Wink, Phil Stanton, and Matt Goldman. Having performed in over 20 countries, the Grammy-nominated global entertainment company will now perform at the recently opened Dubai Opera from April 11 to 15, followed by shows at du Forum, YAS Island, Abu Dhabi from April 18 to 22.
Yak Events, the UAE-based event company that’s organising these shows, has in the past produced hugely successful and well-remembered shows and events in the region, including Chicago, Mamma Mia, and more recently Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo.
Dr. Kamyar Khalili, the Managing Director of YAK Events, shares more on the upcoming Blue Man Group performances and how YAK Events goes about planning and producing successful shows in the region.
What has gone into the decision to bring the Blue Man Group to Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
Our decision to organize Blue Man Group seasons in our region was made a few years ago, as we were looking for a production that can bring all different cultures and nationalities together. The show is quite unique in nature. It would be very difficult to name another production with such a wide range of entertaining elements - to name a few, music, comedy, and state-of-the-art technology, and all in close interaction with the audience. Blue Man Group to us is more than a show, it’s celebration in its pure form.
What has been the response to the announcement so far?
The feedback that we’ve received so far from the market, from very first day that we announced Abu Dhabi season, has been absolutely amazing. That was in fact the main drive behind our decision to extend the season to Dubai. So, we’re now looking at 16 performances across a 2-week period in UAE.
How is the recently opened Dubai Opera an excellent venue for this show?
We’re happy to organize such an award-winning global smash hit production as BMG, with permanent performances in Broadway and Las Vegas, in a proper venue as Dubai Opera. It is a kind of venue we were missing in Dubai for quite long time. It’s designed wonderfully, perfectly equipped, and of course well located.
And du Forum?
The main advantage of du Forum is that it’s located in such a vibrant, diversified in nature, kind of environment as YAS Island, where you have all those attractions and major hotels within literally walking distance. The venue itself is quite flexible providing lot of room for creativity to organisers especially when you’re looking at such an imaginative production as Blue Man Group.
Tell us more about how Yak Events selects artists/shows to bring to the region? How does this show fit in with your overall vision?
Our selection process consists of different levels starting from market study and field research to getting a better understanding of our potential audience expectations, and what is actually missing in the market. The result will be then translated to different genres of entertainment leading to targeting an artist or specific production. What matters to us the most is the quality of our shows, making sure we’re delivering best version of them on an international level. Blue Man Group is perfectly in line with our ground work, and more importantly our vision to provide a perfect platform to offer new experiences to our audience.
What are some of the challenges you face in your operations?
Our operation is divided into two different segments: theatrical productions and comedy shows. Our theatrical section concentrates on musicals, family shows, and acrobatic performances, basically performing arts productions. We’re pioneers in introducing original Broadway productions in the country by organizing Chicago The Musical in 2013 and later Mamma Mia. Our comedy segment concentrates on Hollywood comedians who performed in major blockbuster movies. We manage both segments entirely in-house by our dedicated operations, marketing, and creative design team.
The main challenge that we’re facing is the availability of world class productions for our region. That is different than well-known titles as they might be awarded to relatively less prominent producers resulting in lower quality of the final product. So, it would be great to see more well established and internationally known titles produced by prominent producers available for our region.
With shows taking place at Dubai Opera and at du Forum, YAS Island, Abu Dhabi this April, the Blue Man Group is set to entertain audiences in the region as part of its world tour.