This is truly NOT a true theater production, it is an entertainment concept that may become a standard as the years progress. Think of the Disney on Ice and Circus events that hit every major city each year. I am of the belief that “Marvel Universe LIVE!”, now being presented at The United Center, and then to be relocated at the Allstate Arena, will become an annual “arena spectacular” for family viewing. This special show, the first of its kind, being brought to Chicago by The Feld Entertainment Company brings together the most Marvel characters (25) together ever. As always, I find that in order to truly “get” what I am seeing, I brought a grand-child to the opening. The girls are not as in to Marvel as Adam, so he was the one that made the trek to The United Center, in rush hour traffic on a week night. Adam has seen all the Marvel movies and thus is familiar with all the characters, both good and evil that are depicted in this wild and highly energetic tale.
FYI- This is an original story that has been conceived for the purpose of presenting in an arena setting. The story is framed about the battle over the Cosmic Cube, which is the source of attaining the ultimate power and the most feared treasure in the Marvel Universe. It has been shattered by Thor so it cannot be used for evil. Thor’s brother, the evil Loki has devised a plot that will clone the powers, allowing him and his band to take over the world , and possibly the Universe. To stop this from happening, Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes come together (The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor, along with Spider-Man and Wolverine go from place to place seeking to find the fragments of the Cosmic Cube, so they can re-assemble them and gain the power for good over evil. Along the way, they meet up with Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Aldrich Killian, Electro, Green Goblin and more who are also attempting the same task- finding the fragments.
The show is filled with special effects, motorcycle rides, fireworks, characters flying and climbing places they should not be able to get to, but even though we see the wires, the tumbling and gymnastics holds the attention of the audience from start to finish. As for Adam, who is ten and very much attuned to these characters, the stories of the films and of course to attending live theater, he liked the total presentation, but felt that it is more for the age group of six to eight. What was kind of weird was that the entire production which started at 7:30 p.m. and was over at 9:15 had an intermission of 23 minutes at about 35 minutes into the story. I guess selling refreshments and souvenirs is paramount for these productions. The only time they come into the arena to “vend” is before the show begins and at intermission. In fact, once the second act gets into the 15 or 20 minute part, they close the food services. Don’t know why, but needless to say, when the show is over, the souvenir vendors are raring to go.
This is more of a spectacular event rather than a show- special effects, aerial stunts, pyrotechnics and state of the art elements, including projections and lighting that will “blow your mind”. Adam did enjoy some of what he saw and felt that this was a solid value for the ticket price of $25. Even he knows that this is a true value. The Feld Company has also arranged to include parking with the ticket, so there is FREE parking. The show will remain at The United Center thru this week-end, September 13th with performances as follows:
Friday, September 11th at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 9/12 11:30 a.m.,3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, 9/13 11:30 a.m.,3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Make sure you park at the parking lots that are marked OFFICIAL, not the lots that are marked $20, as there is another event there that does NOT include parking. To purchase tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com
The production packs up and moves to Allstate Arena for the same show opening Friday, Sept. 18th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday 9/19 at 11:30 am, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 9/20 at 11:30 am, 3:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are the same price and parking is also free at this arena.
To learn more about the show, visit www.marveluniverselive.com
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Marvel Universe LIVE!”.