THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

The Caped Crusader in \"Batman Live\"

Review: Batman Live: World Arena Tour | American Airlines Center


A Knight of Spectacle

Can you expect great theater from Batman Live? Of course not. But the entertaining show delivers wow-inducing visual effects at American Airlines Center.



published Friday, December 14, 2012

This year saw the conclusion of one of the most successful and epic film franchises in history, Christopher Nolan's adaptation of the popular comic book character, Batman. And while Nolan's films were noted specifically for their ability to take fantastical characters and situations and imbue them with a gritty sense of realism, comics are still most at home in a world of fantasy and spectacle where monsters are real and super powers exist.

And so, while it certainly won't be for all the fans, especially given its family friendly nature, the epic scale stage show, Batman Live!, on an arena tour swinging through the American Airlines Center, puts the flash, spectacle, and a little bit of camp, back in the Caped Crusader.

Live is a good introductory course for novices and children above everything. The story traces the origins of how Bruce Wayne became Batman (George Tuvey), how Dick Grayson became Robin (Kamran Darabi-Ford) and presents a greatest hits of the Dynamic Duo's infamous rogues gallery, led by none other than the Joker (Mark Frost) himself.

Beyond the base level story, what's truly exceptional about the show is its use of acrobatics and wire work. It's a big budget production on a truly grand scale, highlighted by arguably the best part of the show, the 105-foot-wide backing video board. And to that end, the production employs circus trained acrobats doing a bunch of highly choreographed fighting and exciting aerial work. Fans of the books will know how important the circus setting is to the various intersecting storylines of Batman, and writer Allan Heinberg knows that, setting much of the action at a circus.

The acting is much like the costumes, hilariously over the top. But, in a gigantic arena atmosphere there's at least some need to play things bigger. Add that in with the comic book origins and Live ends up being probably the most honest real world adaptation of the classic conception of the comic book. Naturally, Batman particularly has broken from the campy nature of comics for much of his history, and fans of the Miller or Loeb and Sale books almost certainly will be left wanting.

But this show, co-directed by Anthony van Laast and James Powell, isn't really for them either, not unless they enjoy acrobatics and live special effects. This show is really for families, and to that end, it's incredibly successful and the children in the audience were quite enamored with the show. The neat thing is, though, so were the adults. It's really a visual treat. Forgive the generalization, but it really is style over substance. Which is just fine.

And yet, the appeal isn't nearly as niche as it may seem. The effect of this show is that inner feeling of childlike glee. Even for someone whose never been into comic books, this show will spark that sense of wonder. Thus, it's no surprise that they call Robin, a character specifically meant to be a surrogate for kids, the Boy Wonder. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
A Knight of Spectacle
Can you expect great theater from Batman Live? Of course not. But the entertaining show delivers wow-inducing visual effects at American Airlines Center.
by Kris Noteboom

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit