google ad

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Batman Live Los Angeles Is Gotham This Weekend

The night drew and I was upon the Staples Center to see Batman Live. As the the darkness embraced downtown the lights came on the dome where both the Lakers and Clippers play. As I past children dressed as the heroic hero of the night and life size Lego statues of the cape crusader, Robin and the Joker, I could hear bat-quotes and people asking what they would see.

What they would see is a stage show with the charm of Las Vegas and enough comic book and movie accuracy for the nerdiest audience member to enjoy. The circus hadn't been in town since PETA got angry about them owning elephants, but it was back with this show. Thrilling fights, epic scenes by Batman's rogue gallery and some artsy stage craft all worked together to weave a night show both kids and adults could enjoy. There was a Bat-mobile on stage too!

Batman Live presented us the story of Batman gaining Robin in his fight against crime in Gotham. Batman's origin is revealed to let newcomers understand his plight with the death of his parents. This is done by an extravagant stage show which surprisingly had no musical songs, but some musical numbers or acts with no vocals. It's action oriented, but does weave a story children can follow.

The charm of show has Batman beating down huge amounts of henchmen in thrilling fights. It had special effects like Batman and Catwoman swooping around the stage with a giant monitor behind them changing view of tops of buildings. Joker's big kisser was both on a helium balloon and giant ... well, head that came out with wriggling teeth and a tongue that came out like a red carpet. Those wriggling teeth and his eyes were people in costume, which gave off a great grim effect. Grim was Arkham Asylum  style, it's style which had bodies strung up and had the lighting set up for a much darker tone.

Elements like stage performers being based of circus acts which included Joker's Henchmen, Robin's origin at the circus and Penguin's Iceberg Lounge staff made the stow stand out. There was a Harlequin bit that was very much like a magic act from The Strip.

Mentioning the villains is to simple to write as how the delight of seeing so many in the show. The Riddler, Two- Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy and the stilted Scarecrow all have their moments. Harlequin and Catwoman are only runner-ups to the stage-stealing Joker who made everything about him whenever he went up. He had a rocket pack at one point no less.

All the actors did a fantastic job in their roles, not just the villains. Everyone took on their roles well from Commissioner Gordon to Alfred Pennyworth. The henchmen new their marks for every fight and the stage performers pulled off every move.

Those into tech will be impressed by the giant Bat symbol wall placed behind the stage and crucial to the story. With transitions being done by watching pages flipped in a comic book. You'd also be impressed by the Batmobile which seeing on stage got the audience applauding for the first run show I saw last Thursday.

One scene with the Batmobile was a bit off and it wasn't even the one on stage. At a point Batman travels to Arkham and instead of the actors being involved a cartoon video is shown of the car in action which drags on for a bit long. That and a giant table that screams artsy play, would be some of my faults with the show. Oh, the seating arrangement might want to be considered too, though half the Staples Center is used in the show I think the best seats would be in the front of the stage, but a few rows back. If you too far off to the side you'll be missing visuals matched with the background and the stage floor.

 I didn't like the redesign of Harlequin, but her image is remade for every media property and even the comics now. Those are just some minor critiques other than that this show wowed me with the nostalgia of my childhood and made me remember why I liked Arkham City on my 360.

This play is fine for both the kid in us and real kids and any fan of Batman. There's Batman fights, with his patented back-handed fist to the face, some safe for work sexy time with Catwoman and the Joker being a huge jerk while you enjoy it.

Snag tickets for the last few shows.


Traffic Advisory – Sunday, September 30th 12:00 pm Show

The City of Los Angeles is hosting the 2012 Triathlon on Sunday, September 30th. Many streets throughout the city and downtown Los Angeles will be affected and streets in and around STAPLES Center will be affected until approximately 12:00 pm.
We recommend that you allow extra time when planning your trip to STAPLES Center for the 12:00 pm show.
At the link below you will find directions that will avoid the closures, please read them carefully and use them instead of GPS instructions. Some of our parking lots and garages will not be accessible due to the street closures. We recommend using the directions at the link below and parking on the Olympic West Parking Garage/Gate B. In addition parking staff will be located at key location to assist with parking needs and access.
DIRECTIONS – Olympic West Parking Garage/Gate B