I wasn’t sure what to expect when going in to see Batman Live at the Xcel Energy Center. All I was sure of was that the front-row tickets for Batman Live were WAY cheaper than going to see Rush. Sorry Geddy, but don’t worry, I’ll buy the Clockwork Angels Tour DVD. Promise.
Batman Live is a combination of live theater, Cirque De Soliel, special effects and a jumbotron. I’d say 70% theater, and 30% of the circus stunts you know and love – trapeze, balancing, tumbling, rope climbing, ribbonwork, stilts and more. The show had some of the most amazing stage effects I’ve seen. The batmobile looked great, and the rocket launcher was incredible. Real fire and pyrotechnics make any stage performance better. Neil Simon should make a note of this.
But the best prop in the show was an enormous LCD panel that took up the entire backdrop, probably three stories high, and in the shape of the batman logo. This was used to great effect, for not only a backdrop for each scene that included motion (ex: Wayne manor got closer as characters walked toward it.) It also provided video transitions between scenes including some animated sequences.
Batman Live won’t change anyone’s life, but it was an amazing show. Obviously, those who like comic books and cartoons are going to enjoy this more, since it is less of a Circus themed with Batman characters, and more of a Batman play spiced with circus tricks and FX. If you have kids between six and sixteen who enjoy action cartoons, this is a great way to introduce them to theater. Older theater-goers will find this a refreshing break from Shakespeare.