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A Blue Man’s Guide to New York City

A Blue Man’s Guide to New York City

Bhurin Sead’s Favorite Places in New York City

Some shows and companies are known worldwide for their unique productions, eye-catching performers and one-of-a-kind stage presence. Blue Man Group is one of those companies with shows touring North America and the World and multiple residencies in major cities like Las Vegas, New York City, Boston and Chicago. We caught up with one of the elusive blue men, Bhurin Sead, to talk about his career and his favorite places in New York City.

Blue Man Bhurin Sead New York City |
Blue Man Bhurin Sead (Courtesy “Blue Man Group”)

Bhurin Sead of Blue Man Group

How did you get your start as a performer?
Sead: I had played music as a kid starting with piano, later on in junior high with oboe and then in high school with the guitar. I was always dabbling in music in some form. It wasn’t until I was attending The University of Texas at Austin that my interest in theater began. A group of friends had started an Asian American student theater troupe, Silk Mangos, as a place for Asian American students to come together, write and perform. I joined in hopes of being able to play music but quickly became interested in acting and writing. What started off as a group of friends with very little theatrical experience grew into a group of student writers, actors and directors exploring our Asian American identity through devised theater. We performed locally and eventually toured to other college campuses. It was such an empowering experience that planted a seed in finding my path towards performing.

How long have you been with Blue Man Group?
Sead: I have been performing with Blue Man Group since February 2008.

What do you think makes Blue Man Group so unique?
Sead: The Blue Man is such a fascinating and timeless character. I am always struck by how much the Blue Men are able to communicate without speaking. Since the character isn’t bound by verbal language, we’re given the opportunity to find other ways to communicate our thoughts and intentions, especially through eye contact, physical storytelling and music. This freedom from verbal language allows us to connect with a wide range of audiences.

What is your favorite part of the show?
Sead: My favorite pieces of any Blue Man Group show are those that directly involve the audience. While we can predict what an audience member may do at any given moment, the reality is we don’t know what they’re going to do at all. As performers, we treasure those unknown moments. They’re full of potential and demand a heightened sense of attention and openness to uncover what may present itself. I also love the moments the Blue Men and band play together as an ensemble. We have such an intimate connection with our band that we’re able to communicate with each other through the slightest shift in physicality, tempo or dynamics where we want to take the music each night.

Central Park Zoo New York City |
Central Park Zoo (©Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company)

What are your favorite places in NYC?
Sead: Central Park is one of my favorite places in the city. I would take my daughter to the Central Park Zoo during lunch to watch the zookeepers feed the sea lions. We’d pack a lunch, sit on the tall concrete steps surrounding the sea lion tank and watch the feeding before heading out to explore the park. At the time, my daughter and I were learning about Ashima Shiraishi, an incredible Japanese American rock climber from NYC. Inspired by Ashima and her history of rock climbing in Central Park as a kid, I would take my daughter around the lower parts of the park to try to find spots of our own. I would also have to say Sunnyside; Queens holds a very special place in our hearts as it was our home for many years.

If someone asked you to recommend a restaurant in NYC, where would you recommend?
Sead: My current restaurant favorite is a vegan Szechuan restaurant called Spicy Moon. They have two locations, one in the East Village and another in the West Village. Their food is incredibly comforting. While you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, I would recommend ordering some dan dan noodles, which is a savory and spicy dry noodle dish, a bowl of vegetarian ramen and their crispy eggplant appetizer. If you find yourself in Sunnyside, Queens, you’ll have to head over to Bolivian Llama Party. They have a tasty jackfruit carnitas sandwich that’s stuffed with crispy jackfruit tossed in an ahi peanut sauce; peanut crumble, avocado, pickled veggies, veggie parm and vegan mayo. Add to it a side of their crispy papitas and one of their superfruit drinks, and you’re well on your way to a satisfying meal.

Jackfruit Carnitas Sandwich From Bolivian Llama Party New York |
Jackfruit Carnitas Sandwich From Bolivian Llama Party (©David Oropeza)