43 New York youngsters really are too cool for school. The founders of Blue Man Group have turned their international theatre experience into a nursery school. At The Blue Man Creativity Center, you’ll find some unconventional preschool gadgetry – disco balls, bits of foam, cushy vinyl walls. The founders wanted to create the school they always wished they could have attended as kids.“There’s a hypnotic Bubble Machine, with kid-controlled colored lights; a futuristic Water Machine, with a mini-whirlpool; and a trippy installation, left over from the B.M.G.’s 2003 tour, of giant computer-animated dragonflies that can be made to light up, flap their wings, and fly,” The New Yorker reports.
Until the center is accredited and becomes an official school, the focus will remain on the preschool curriculum. After receiving recognition, the Blue Man Creativity Center will expand one year at a time to accommodate students all the way up to the fifth grade.
The Tree House, whose slide deposits kids in the Texture Pit, looks like fun. So does the OMi-Beam machine, a computerized rig made up of eight ceiling-mounted halogen lamps, loudspeakers, and a video monitor (there is only one other OMi-Beam machine in the country, at Madame Tussaud’s). Colored beams create pools of light on the floor, and by waving a reflective wand through the beams kids can produce any number of sounds, from musical instruments to the calls of barnyard animals and samples of pop hits from the nineteen-eighties (one is Fatboy Slim’s “Rockafeller Skank”).