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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

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In Kids & Family

"Walking With Dinosaurs -- The Live Experience" hits the Bradley Center next week.

In Kids & Family

The show has been a hit with audiences of all ages.

Bradley Center readies for dinosaur invasion


Most of the time, when kids tell their parents they want to see giants roam the floor at the Bradley Center, they are referring to exceptionally tall NBA players like Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat and Andrew Bogut, Dan Gadzuric and Yi Jianlian.

Next week, though, the building will be dominated by a different kind of giant. Kids, parents and people of all ages will thrill to a different set of names.

Brachiosaurus.

Stegosaurus.

Torosaurus.

Tyrannosaurus Rex.

They all will be in town as "Walking With Dinosaurs -- The Live Experience," begins a five-day run Wednesday through next Sunday.

The show, a high-tech, live-action, "edutainment" documentary based on an award-winning BBC television series, features 15 dinosaurs and depicts their evolution.

There are scenes of daily interactions between the giants. The herbivores struggle to avoid the carnivorous predators. There are giant video screens, changing set landscapes and a blaring rock soundtrack that accompanies the snarls and growls.

The dinosaurs, which range in height from 7 feet to 45 feet, are made of lightweight steel covered by latex skin. Inflatable air sacks allow for the illusion of rippling muscle.

The dinosaurs move in different ways. Some have humans inside. Other dinosaurs are operated by technicians who use computers to manipulate the hydraulic cylinders and motorized rigs.

The production, which is moving around the country in 27 different trucks, includes 116,000 pounds of lights, sound equipment and scenery. Although the show features a paleontologist / narrator and there are scripted moments, the dinosaurs are able to ad-lib based on audience reaction.

The dinosaurs move around the arena floor and get "up close and personal" with spectators, even those in the upper reaches of the arena.

Although there are few tense moments, the show does not feature a lot of violence and has been well received by children as young as five or six, teenagers and parents of all ages.


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