Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 | 4:05 p.m.
Part of Las Vegas is transformed tonight into a 3-D Gotham City filled with our loved and legendary crime-fighting heroes and those wicked and unscrupulous villains.
Pow! Bam! Holy warfare, Batman! Yes, Robin, dreadful, dangerous and diabolical!
The Madhattan comic book characters and crafty combatants will only be around through Sunday. There are eight performances of the two-hour “Batman Live” at the Thomas & Mack Center as the famed world of DC Comics comes to life onstage for the first time in North America.
Holy wonders, Batman! Yes, Robin, something never, ever seen before!
It took 30 months to bring Batman to life, and the show has been touring in Europe and Latin America since opening in England in July of last year. The action-packed arena show is a visually stunning, state-of-the-art production that pits Batman and Robin against such adversaries as the Riddler and the Penguin.
Fans will love the eye-catching, all-new Batmobile designed especially for the show by legendary racing car designer Prof. Gordon Murray, who’s known for designing racing cars for some of the most successful Formula One teams in the world, as well as the famous McLaren F1 road car.
“There’s no place on Earth that doesn’t know who Batman is -- he’s not just
one of the most iconic superheroes ever created; he is one of the most iconic characters in history -- and has had more stories told about him than just about any other character, period,” said Geoff Johns, chief creative officer of DC Entertainment.
“What’s cool to me about ‘Batman Live’ is that when you first come into the arena, you see the three-dimensional cityscape, and you hear the sounds of the city -- you‘re entering 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.”
“Batman Live,” with sets depicting Wayne Manor, the Batcave and Arkham Asylum, has 42 cast members in a new, original storyline that features Batman, Robin, tireless butler Alfred and wobbly Police Commissioner Gordon. And there are the villainesses Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
Holy spotlight, Batman! Yes, Robin, quite the lineup! A larger-than-life rogues gallery.
“Batman is more than a comic book character, he’s a cultural phenomenon. We are excited to bring him and his world to the stage, live, for the first time with this incredible arena show,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “In fewer than four years, the show has gone from concept on paper to successfully touring through Europe and Latin America. It is now our special privilege to bring this show to the United States, home to Batman and Robin.”
Co-publisher Jim Lee added: “What is compelling about Batman is that he’s one of the rare superheroes who actually doesn't have super powers; he's human just like you or me. But through sheer determination, he has honed his mind and body to a level that makes him second to none. To that end, this spectacular live show delivers an amazingly authentic experience, which actually underscores how real Batman could be.”
The magnitude of the production becomes apparent the first moment a full symphonic score is heard and a 105-foot bat-shaped LED video wall comes to life, enhancing the action on a custom-built stage. “Batman Live” focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero -- Batman -- much to the dismay of his protective guardian, billionaire Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows is Batman.
Story writer Allan Heinberg summed up: “We met every expectation of how to tell this story of the Dynamic Duo and surpassed it. We brought Gotham City to life in a way that I have never experienced before in any movie or any television show or any comic book. It is very faithful to the comic books, and you are there in person -- and you are sharing this experience with an arena audience.
“It’s live, and it’s happening all around you. The nonstop thrill ride across Gotham City is something that people have never seen and will never forget. It’s exhilarating, impressive, exciting and dynamic, and we hope the fans have as much fun watching it as we have had making it.”
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery of today’s rehearsals ahead of tonight’s premiere. Kerpow, Batman! Yes, Robin, our dazzling derring-do is a high-tech hit!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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