Shawnee Mission grad comes home to perform with Blue Man Group at Starlight

This weekend, Shawnee Mission North alum Steven Wendt, above left, will return to Kansas City to perform with the experimental Blue Man Group at the Starlight Theatre. Image courtesy of Starlight Theatre

This weekend, actor and musician Steven Wendt will be performing on familiar turf.

Now based in New York City, Wendt will be back home in the metro alongside fellow painted-up performers as part of the world-renowned Blue Man Group, which is putting on a series of shows at Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre.

Where he started: Wendt’s background in the arts began early on, through piano lessons and visiting Kansas City’s Mattie Rhodes arts center as a kid, he says.

  • He’d always been a musician, he recalls, but his time at Shawnee Mission North High School was where he began getting into theater.
  • He got involved with choir and musicals as a student there, which was where he “got the bug” for it.
  • “I just liked that it was more of an event that reached more people than then simply being a musician in a choir or in a band,” he said. “People came out and came together for theatre. It always seemed more tangible than movies or things like that.”

What is a “Blue Man”? The performance art company Blue Man Group first formed in 1987.

  • On top of the deep blue painted appearance of the cast, the show is known for its quirky mix of comedy, percussion and audience interaction.
  • “All people of any background can relate and enjoy these characters that somehow capture the fact that none of us really know why we’re on Earth,” Wendt said. “(The Blue Men) just don’t take anything for granted. It’s a joy to watch these characters discover things.”
  • The YouTube video below gives you a taste of the group’s style:

Returning to Kansas City: Wendt first auditioned for the Blue Man Group 10 years ago.

  • Since then, Wendt has toured “all over the world” with them, including some previous performances in Kansas City.
  • “A huge part of who I am was fostered here in Kansas City,” he said. “Last time I was here, everybody in our cast and crew left Kansas City saying ‘I could live here’. (This time) I have a feeling that people will say the same thing.”

Show details: This weekend’s Blue Man Group performances will take place on June 24 through June 26 at the Starlight Theatre.

  • Gates will open at 7 p.m. and the shows will start at 8 p.m. each day.
  • Ticket price levels range from $16 to $98, and they can be purchased here.