UPDATED at 9:40 a.m. Friday: I just received word from a venue representative that the on-sale date for Oklahoma City “Walking with Dinosaurs” tickets has been moved back to April 18. -BAM
A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.
‘Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular’ roams back to Oklahoma City
Tickets go on sale Friday for the show’s Oct. 24-26 Chesapeake Energy Arena run.
Dinosaurs again roam the earth when the production, “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular,” based on the award-winning BBC Television Series, returns to North America this summer.
“Walking with Dinosaurs” will stomp back into Chesapeake Energy Arena Oct. 24-26 for a limited six-performance engagement. The high-tech tour previously played Oklahoma City in 2009.
Tickets go on sale Friday at www.ChesapeakeArena.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and in person at Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, 100 W Reno Ave.
The updated production will showcase changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest scientific research, including the likely feathering of some species. More than 8 million people have seen this show in 243 cities and more than 2,000 performances.
“Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” is produced by Global Creatures
“I am thrilled that ‘Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular’ is coming back to the US in July – its first visit to North America since its inaugural 2007 sell-out tour. A new generation is ready to experience these life–size beasts in this awe-inspiring spectacle, which has still not been matched in terms of scale and quality. Many of our creatures have “evolved” since the last tour, now featuring distinctive display feathers, head crests and tail fans, reflecting recent discoveries about the physical nature of these massive creatures. This show remains a must-see for audiences of all ages,” Global Creatures CEO Carmen Pavlovic in a news release.
The show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism. “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” has scenes of the interactions between dinosaurs, how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators.
Ten species are represented from the 200-million-year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the Cretaceous period. The largest, the Brachiosaurus, is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production.
The history of the world is played out with the splitting of the earth’s continents, and the transition from the arid desert of the Triassic period is given over to the lush green prairies and forces of the later Jurassic. Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire — all leading to the impact of the massive comet, which struck the earth, and forced the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The show originated in Australia, where, after years of planning, “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” came to life at Sydney’s Acer Arena in January 2007.
The 20 dinosaurs were originally “hatched” by Sonny Tilders, the head of creature design at Creature Technology Company in a Melbourne Docklands workshop big enough to park a 747.
The show proved itself such a sensation that the North American tour was fast-tracked, where it quickly became one of the leading arena attractions. The only building large enough to house rehearsals for the dinosaurs– some as large as 36 feet tall by 56 feet long – was the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.
Soon after this successful season, “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” went onto conquer Europe and Asia.
“Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” has been seen on the “Today” show, “Good Morning America,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and has been written about in Newsweek, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal. It was the subject of a Discovery Channel “Really Big Things” episode and a video clue category on “Jeopardy!”
During its North American 2007-2010 tour the production won the THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Touring Event and the Billboard Touring Award for Creative Content as well as the Pollstar Concert Industry Award for Most Creative Stage Production and the ILMC Arthur Award for Best in Show. The THEAs recognize excellence in the creation of compelling educational, historical, and entertainment projects; and both the Billboard Touring Award and the Pollstar Concert Industry Award recognize a show or tour that creatively expands what is offered on the road. The ILMC (International Live Music Conference) Arthur Award for Best in Show recognizes theatre shows and family entertainment.
Artistic Director William May developed the creative vision of the show based on an original idea by entrepreneur Bruce Mactaggart to create an arena version of the “Walking with Dinosaurs” television series.
An experienced team of creative artists came together to produce “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular.” The show is directed by Scott Faris, a Broadway veteran who has worked side by side with Harold Prince, Trevor Nunn, Michael Blakemore, Gene Saks, John Caird, Tommy Tune and Jerry Zaks. The creatures are designed and built by Sonny Tilders; the set and projected image design are by Peter England; the show’s lighting is by John Rayment, the score was composed by James Brett; and Warner Brown wrote the script.
Tim Haines, creator and producer of the original BBC series, which was seen by a worldwide audience of 700 million, serves as Project Consultant to “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular.” The series won six Emmy and three BAFTA Awards.
For more information on the OKC tour stop, go to www.ChesapeakeArena.com.