Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Photo Recap & Review: MARVEL Universe Live! in Chicago

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You have to see this crazy, cool mashup to believe it! We highly recommend MARVEL Universe Live! as family friendly, all ages fun. Catch em while you can! These super heroes have gotta fly. Tickets now on sale for Allstate Arena in Rosemont, September 18-20th, 7 shows ONLY.

It was our great pleasure to see MARVEL Universe Live! on opening night at United Center last Thursday. 

We also got to shoot stills for the first 15 minutes of the show. Thanks to FELD for the tickets for my family and a 4 pack to give away to one of our lucky readers. Congrats again to Frieda Meier, our winner out of 290 entries.

Click image below to check out ChiIL Mama's full set of photos in this slide show & look for our favorite shots embedded below.

Click image HERE for slide show

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ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips: 

Dress up: 
No... We're not talking tux and evening gowns here. Break out your fav super suits. We LOVED that so many of the audience (kids and adults alike) came in costume. A show is extra fun when you come in character, even if you're in the audience. 

Earplugs Rock:
Sure, it's not Monster Jam where earplugs are a must, but we highly recommend 'em for the littles. This show is explosion intensive and has motorcycles, and loads of loud noises that might be a bit much for sensitive young ears. Your tots will have much more fun if they don't have to hold their ears for the whole show. As I always tell my own kids, better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. Just sayin'....

That said, this show is fun for all ages. Most of the adults were digging it as much as the kids, and my tween & teen (sometimes the toughest demographic to please) had a blast. My 14 year old son liked the plot line and thought the voice over accents were fantastic. Dugan enjoyed quizzing me on my MARVEL knowledge with the cool collector programs, before the show. And he was engrossed with Googling the less familiar characters' backstories on his phone and enlightening us. The kids both kicked my booty in the MARVEL trivia department, even though we've all seen all the movies many times over.

My 12 year old, gymnast daughter's favorite part was the mighty women (heroes and villains alike), though we would have both loved to see more from Storm. Girl Captain Marvel was a nice try, but a bit weak in the character department. Sage's favorite elements were the explosions, motorcycle tricks, stage combat, Spidey's gymnastics moves, and Loki's lighting effects. 

The super women don't stop with the stage either. Chicago based mom, Juliette Feld is the Executive VP of Feld Entertainment, Inc. and the show's Producer. Juliette is the winner of the 2014 Venues Today Generation Next Award, honoring young professionals who make a difference in the live entertainment industry. Juliette is also a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company Board of Trustees. Based in Chicago, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company is one of the nation’s premier ensemble theater companies. In February 2014, Juliette and her sisters Nicole and Alana were honored by the Theater Development Fund for their shared commitment to accessibility for theatergoers with physical disabilities as well as individuals on the autism spectrum.

The show's concept creator, director and co-writer, Shanda Sawyer is an Emmy Award winning director and choreographer who has now collaborated with Feld Entertainment, Inc. on four productions.

When I caught opening night at United Center with my kids, the show was an action packed extravaganza, but I also loved the very different ways my kids had of enjoying the show. They have such different personalities and it was much like the brains and brawn banter that plays out in the show, with friendly ribbing between the muscle, like Wolverine, and the brains, like Ironman (and The Hulk who embodies both). 

Then there's the way the tot behind us enjoyed the show, standing with light up toy weapon in hand, enthusiastically shouting out "Loki" and aiming at the stage. The kid was in the moment.

I also love that FELD didn't dumb it down for this production. There are plenty of big words, a fairly complicated plot, and STEM stuff galore, to please the geeks. And there's plenty of action, groan inducing one liners, stellar screen effects, and explosions to excite everyone. Sure, it's a bit cheesy, but in a good way. We recommend MARVEL Universe Live for a fun, family night out.

Chicago Represents:

The Chicago United Center and Allstate Arena shows are chock full of local talent. 

Shout outs to Cody Evans (Hulk), a Chicago Waldorf school kid with an interesting past. This guy was a boxer for 10 years, a classically trained actor with a Shakespearian background, who has performed at the Lyric Opera House. Talk about a melding of brains and brawn!

Joshua Johnson (Bruce Banner) is a U of I in Chicago guy with a biological sciences degree, working on a Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy. He was a high school and college diver, circus and water show performer. 

Julie Motolo (army) hales from Sacramento but she calls Chicago home now. She comes from a gymnastics and dance background and competed as a child through college at the University of Iowa. She's also taught gymnastics and dance in Chicago.

The aptly named, David Musselman (Super Swing)has a background in musical theater and dance from North Central College in Naperville. He's worked as an aerialist in South America for a cruise line and attended the International Stunt School in Seattle, WA.

Finally, Phil Soulides (Lizard) originally wanted to study criminal justice, but he got a theatre scholarship, so he ended up pursuing a theatre degree and studying stunt work and fighting.

Click here for our prior coverage including loads of fun facts, the official show trailer and more.

Then get out and get your tickets today. What are you waiting for? Go already!

For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Marvel Universe LIVE! website and stay current on the latest developments through social media, including: 

Disclosure: Thanks to FELD and Motion PR for tickets for our family & our giveaway. As always, all opinions are our own.

Remember, check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for loads of great giveaways, original content, event news, reviews and interviews.

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