Arena show 'Batman Live' delves into origins of Batman's sidekick

Allan Heinberg, who grew up in Tulsa, wrote “Batman Live,” a theatrical story of Robin joining Batman's world. It will be performed next weekend at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
by Matthew Price Modified: October 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm •  Published: October 4, 2012

Bringing in the circus gives “Batman Live” the chance to use even more theatrical stylings.

“We were all very excited about the possibilities of actually having a real circus in the show, with acrobats, and real trapeze artists, and all kinds of pyrotechnics,” Heinberg said. “It immediately is a theatrical story if you start at the circus with the Flying Graysons.”

The show features a 42-member cast and an original storyline with characters including Batman, Robin, Alfred the butler, The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and The Penguin.

Tulsa ties

Heinberg lived in Tulsa beginning at age 6.

“I was very fortunate. I knew what I wanted to do with my life from my earliest recollection. I started out as an actor and wanted to be a writer and a playwright and write movies and TV.”

Heinberg said he began singing professionally at age 6 and became an actor at 10.

“I got a part in the University of Tulsa production of ‘Oliver!,' the musical, as Oliver Twist, ... and it changed my life,” he said. “I had a huge mentor in Dr. Nancy Vunovich, who was with the theater department at the University of Tulsa, and she put me to work for the next several years until I went to college.”

Heinberg worked as an actor and singer at the University of Tulsa, American Theatre Company, Discoveryland! and others before graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1985 and heading to Yale for college. After college, he worked in New York as an actor and singer, where he appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway musicals. In the mid-1990s, he transitioned to writing full-time, and became a staff writer on “The Naked Truth” in 1997. Heinberg couldn't comment specifically on what shows he's working on now, but said he is developing two television series.

“Hopefully those things will move forward, and people will be able to watch them at some point,” Heinberg said. “But that's what's keeping me busy from now until Christmas, that and ‘Batman Live.'”

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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