Though my birthday was many moons ago, my birthday present was a pair of tickets to Batman Live! which opened in Dallas on thursday. I thought I’d relay the experience to you all.
First off the stage was brilliant. All of the buildings moved on and off, many of which opened up to reveal objects, or even people. There were trap doors, ramps, and moving panels galore. It was very well done. Every effect was well timed, and quite fun. In addition to that the main effect was the wall at the very back of the stage. Shaped like the iconic bat, it served as a visual taking us to every location the characters visited, and as it moved from scene to scene, it flipped to it, like the pages of a comic book. Oh yeah, and all of the visuals for the city were drawn by Jim Lee. There’s that too.
The characters were brilliantly done. Aside from Dick Grayson getting VERY annoying quite often, everything was as it should have been. Bruce Wayne was well done, effectively being one of the best interpretations of the character. Batman, Alfred, and Gordon were all pretty stock. It was the villains that really shined. It was a veritable smorgasbord of interpretations. Catwoman straddled villainy and heroism just as she should. Penguin was loud, boisterous, and quacked. Two-Face split between Harvey and Two-Face often, doing both persona’s well. I honestly haven’t seen Two-Face done this well. I don’t think ever. Poison Ivy and Scarecrow were afterthoughts, appearing only once and doing very little. Riddler was perfect. Using confusing Riddles to make points, twirling his cane like a bad ass, and being the smartest man on the block. Harley was perhaps the highlight of the show. Being hilariously misguided and twisted. The Joker was fun, but predictable and disappointing. That being said, I was too focused on the Riddler to really judge him at that point.
The plot was very intricate and quite different. It took a different spin on the origin of Batman, the death of the Flying Grayson’s, and the villains’ roles within the Gotham underworld. However in doing so, it only made the show more fun. Knowing most if not all of the different origins the characters have had in the past, seeing the show branch out and try something new was bold.
I can’t not comment about the stunts either. There were some great acrobatics in the show. The woman playing the Iceberg Lounge dancer “Crystal Frost” was brilliant. Doing a routine on a cloth rope, and the only performer in the show who didn’t use any wires. Though the highlight of the acrobatics. Joker and Harley managed to pull some wows with some surprisingly brilliant illusions. Most of them consisted of Harley getting put in various death traps, only to appear on the opposite end of the stage.
This show was brilliant and amazingly fun. I would recommend this for most anyone. While I will acknowledge that the show is a bit campy, it is the fact that it embraced that camp that makes it truly shine. This is a must see for anyone who wants to have a good time, whether they know these characters a little or a lot.
Make sure you grab your tickets when it hits your hometown. If you already missed it, then I suggest a stiff drink to drown your sorrows.
Until the next time,