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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 25, 2014

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"How To Train Your Dragon" Live Spectacular comes to Milwaukee at the end of the month.
"How To Train Your Dragon" Live Spectacular comes to Milwaukee at the end of the month.

An inside look at upcoming "How To Train Your Dragon Live"

The "How To Train Your Dragon" Live Spectacular swoops into Milwaukee from Thursday, Oct. 25  to Sunday, Oct. 28 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The live show is based on the film, which was based on a book, that tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who needs to prove himself as a dragon slayer to win the respect of not only his tribe, but his father.

However, instead of killing the dragon, Toothless, he befriends him and changes everyone's perspective on what it means to be a man.

The movie really resonated with my son who saw it when he was 7, because already at that young age he realized on some level that he wasn't matching up with some of society's expectations for boys.

The live show, I’m told, is mesmerizing, with 23 dragons – some of which have a 46-foot wingspan – along with 20-square feet of wall-to-floor projected images, fire blasts, laser lights, thousands of bubbles and more.

I plan to take my son to see this and am looking forward to it myself. Recently, I spoke with Bill Register, the media relations manager for the show, and asked him a few questions.

OnMilwaukee.com: What makes the dragons so cool?

Bill Register: These are not the pre-programmed, Chuck E. Cheese-type animals we grew up with. There are actually three puppeteers inside each dragon, operating it, controlling every moment and facial expression. This way, the dragon truly are able to interact with the human actors. The puppeteers really bring the dragons to life.

OMC: What age child is this show appropriate for and is it more popular with boys than girls, since the main character is a male?

BR: I really think the show is equally as popular with boys and girls. Whether or not the show is appropriate for a particular kid really depends on the kid. I would say anyone over the age of 5 would love it, it’s up to parents as to whether or not they want to bring younger kids. We had a lot of prams (strollers) at the shows in Sydney, Australia where we opened earlier this year.

So far, the crowds have been mixed in age and the reaction have been really positive all around. People are walking away surprised by how good the show is. The visuals are really amazing.

OMC: What about this story resonates with people?

BR: Every kid wants to be the kid their parents want them to be and many undergo a personal struggle ... It’s also about being bullied, something kids and parents can relate to. But the real appeal is that everyone loves a dragon, don't they?

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