This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
I just went to see the show Marvel Universe Live. (I keep writing Lice, but that is a whole other show; 10/10, would itch again). MUL, as the name suggests, is a live action play set in the Marvel universe. Of course it doesn’t have the movie stars involved; everyone here is an acrobat or stunt person; no Chris Hemsworth or Robert Downey Jr. That doesn’t stop this from being campy fun.
This is a kids’ show, if you have little ones, they will love it, yet I saw many adult couples (without kids) wearing Marvel gear, so don’t be put off going, even though the primary audience is kids. Whilst I won’t give you the full plot, it all starts with Thor smashing the Tesseract into three pieces and scattering those across the earth. Of course Loki is there to cause issues, as they want to collect the Tesseract for themselves and generally have people bow down. Always with the bowing Loki.
The heroes fighting against this include: Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Falcon, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Captain America, Hawkguy, Bruce Banner, Thor, and Black Widow. They are assisted by Jarvis, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill. It’s quite a few characters so a few kind of get dropped. Cyclops has no lines at all, Storm has just one, and Falcon and Hawkeye are not featured as much as the others.
The focus is on Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Banner, and Wolverine; the primary antagonist is Loki, aided by a selection of villains from Cap’s & Spidey’s roster. This is the first place you get to see actors playing Spider-Man, mutants, and the Avengers working together. For that alone it’s pretty fun; imagine a play in a theatre crossed with a campy Saturday morning superhero cartoon taking place in a sports arena; that’s MUL. The performers are physical actors; they are performing to a soundtrack.
Special effects include projected short movies and a decent light show, lasers on the ground, smoke numerous vehicles, and some great stunt work, including some really nice motorbike stunts with ramps and somersaults. Special mention to Spider-Man who does a lot of dangling, swinging, and falling. The character that sold it for me was Wolverine, that guy really got into his part and even when he was just hanging around he was Wolverine.
If you like the Marvel Universe and don’t mind campy fun I recommend MUL; it was a great night out for the three of us. Just avoid the themed concessions and merchandise. A plastic pistol was $30, popcorn with a thin half mask of Spidey or Cap was $15. On the upside they had two t-shirts that focused on Black Widow, one of which was her own shirt, this was good to see!
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