If superheroes, loud explosions, motorcycles, some cheesy acting, and a bunch of high tech special effects are your family's idea of a good time, you should check out the Marvel Universe Live tour.
My family and I were able to see Marvel Universe Live on the opening night in San Jose. The tour has been crisscrossing the country and we were excited to see it for ourselves. My wife and I kept it a secret from our two oldest kids until we arrived at the show. They dressed up and when the show started they were entranced. From what I viewed online it appeared to be a high flying superhero stunt show, but it turned out to be much more than that.
I thoroughly enjoyed the tech side of the show. The main wall and floor were covered with laser lights and projector images the entire time. The interesting thing was how the show used these, not just to light the set, but to play an important part. The main wall always had a moving background and the actors even interacted with it. It was like half movie, half live action show. My favorite light effect was Iron Man's lasers. He was constantly mowing down enemies with them but they were projected from overhead somehow.
Another great part was how you saw so many Marvel characters together. There were 24 main characters in all. Because of licensing agreements, you will never see this in the movies. All the actors were talented at the stunts and we didn't catch one mistake.
I also appreciated how there was a conscious effort to include numerous female superheroes and supervillains. This was a big reason my daughter enjoyed the show so much.
Her favorite characters were Captain Marvel and Black Widow (both are women). My daughter claimed Captain Marvel looked like her friend's mom. I'm assuming it is the mom's hair and not because she picks her daughter up from school wearing a mask and spandex.
The motorcycle stunts were also a hit. They really helped break up some of the fighting in the action scenes. When Captain America and Red Skull jumped onto the second level of the staging, I couldn't look away.
There were a few areas that fell flat for me. The dialogue and lipsyncing were a little cheesy. Superhero scripts tend to border on cheesy, but as an adult it was a little over the top. However, my kids didn't seem to care at all. Let's face it, this show is mostly about the stunts anyway.
The one effect that bothered me was how easily you could see the cables attached to the actors. Cables are obviously a necessity when doing high flying stunts and lifting people high in to the air. I just wish they could have found a way to hide them better. My wife says I'm being picky, but it was a bit distracting for me. Once again, my kids were not bothered at all.
The last caution would be that there are loud explosions so if you have younger kids who are sensitive to loud noises, you might want to be think carefully before bringing them.
Overall, if you are a superhero fan this was a really fun way to spend a few hours. If you have younger kids that are superhero fans, you won't want to miss Marvel Universe Live. I have never seen another family show that mixes video and live action so well.
You can catch the tour in San Jose through the end of the weekend but there are many upcoming stops all around the country as well. You can find out more information and buy tickets at www.marveluniverselive.com.
One last tip. Save money for the shaved ice served in cup shaped like Spiderman's head. It's a dessert and nice souvenir combo in one.
Disclosure: I was provided free tickets by Feld Entertainment for the purpose of reviewing the show. I was not compensated in any way and the opinions expressed are my own.