‘Batman Live’ World Arena Tour at BMO Harris Bank Center Nov. 30-Dec. 2

• Six performances of action-packed live arena show to be staged in Rockford

Staff Report

The unique action-packed live arena show Batman Live, a creative collaboration among Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC Entertainment and Water Lane Productions, will come to Rockford at BMO Harris Bank Center on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 for six performances only.

This North American tour follows the show’s popular and acclaimed arena tour throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and Latin America. Two-and-a-half years in the making, Batman Live is a visually stunning, state-of-the-art production, which brings Batman, a host of iconic characters, and the settings from the famed world of DC Comics, live and on stage for the very first time in North America.

Tickets are on sale through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (815) 968-5222 and at the BMO Harris Bank Center box office.

With a 42-member cast, Batman Live has a brand-new, original storyline, and features Batman, his trusty counterpart Robin, tireless butler Alfred and a host of other favorite include villains such as The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and The Penguin.

Fans of all ages from around the world have enjoyed Batman’s adventures for many years, and we are excited to bring the stories to life for the first time ever on stage in Batman Live,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Following a critically successful tour through Europe and Latin America, we know our Batman fans throughout North America — both young and old — are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Batman, Robin and Gotham City in their hometowns.”

Adapted from the DC Comics characters and stories, Batman Live focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero — the mysterious vigilante known as Batman — much to the dismay of his protective guardian, Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows is secretly Batman.

Batman Live is, at its heart, a poignant coming-of-age story. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson must learn to overcome their own fears and forge their own family — with the help of Police Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth — if they’re going to survive the combined forces of Batman’s larger-than-life rogues’ gallery, some of the most famous and beloved villains of the 20th century.

Batman Live, produced by Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions, features impressive stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video screen sequences. “Batman Live is a totally unique experience — a completely new way to experience the world of Batman, with an arena-sized production and audience — and has become a must-see for fans everywhere,” said Grace. “This is not a musical but a live show with a thrilling Batman story, filled with action that we found has appeal for adults, teen-agers, kids and families. We are proud to have this opportunity to bring to life the story of one of the most popular DC Super Heroes in the world today.”

The action of the show becomes a nonstop thrill ride across Gotham City that transforms Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson into the legendary crime-fighters, Batman and Robin. The adventure transports the audience from the Big Top of Haly’s Circus to the depths of Arkham Asylum, and from the glittering peaks of The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge to the subterranean wonders that await inside the Batcave. Acrobats suspended in the air, The Joker’s henchmen in choreographed fight sequences, and stunning scenic elements are all part of the Batman Live experience.

Batman is not only one of the most iconic super heroes ever created — he is one of the most iconic characters of all time, period,” said Geoff Johns, chief creative officer, DC Entertainment. “What’s so cool about Batman Live is that you really enter the world of Gotham in a way you can’t experience anywhere else. You are an active participant in the story and a real part of Batman’s world.”

As audiences enter the arena, they are greeted by a 3D Gotham City landscape complete with buildings, soundscape, and video animation, setting the scene for the story to come. The magnitude of the production becomes apparent from the first moment the full symphonic score is heard and the 105-foot bat-shaped LED video wall comes to life to enhance the action on a custom-built massive stage.

Another exciting element is the eye-catching all-new Batmobile, designed especially for the show by legendary racing car designer Professor Gordon Murray, known for designing racing cars for some of the most successful teams in the world for Formula One racing as well as the famous McLaren F1 road car.

Batman Live is based on an original story created exclusively for the show. Creative director is Anthony Van Laast and co-director is James Powell. Production design is by Ed Devlin, music composed by James Seymour Brett, sound design by Simon Baker, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video production by Sam Pattinson, costume design by Jack Galloway. Circus sequences are created, produced and managed in association with Circus Space with Bryan Donaldson and Juliette Hardy-Donaldson as circus consultants.

For more information and to download the Batman Live iPad app, go to www.batmanlive.com.

From the Nov. 21-27, 2012, issue

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