Friday, August 12, 2011

Batman: Live!

Batman: Live!

Ok special review this one, not a film. Yes The Dark Knight himself shows Spiderman that you don't have to break a couple of cast members to perform a comic book story live.

Ive come to the defense of Batman and Robin with the statement "Any Batman is good Batman". After seeing a few out of context clips online before hand it looked very Joel Schumacher, some would say too much. So very unsure what to expect we took our seats ready with our opinions sheathed.
OMG it was sooo good. It was rather Schumacher throughout but live, it worked so well.

Right first off the cast. They were perfect. All the actors got the personalities, posture and voice of all the characters, with Commissioner Gordon more Pat Hingle than Gary Oldman. I did have slight issue with Harley Quinn's costume, although nothing technically wrong with it, something just looked amiss, but I loved her proper queens accent. Not in it as much as i would have liked are: The Riddler; dropped his cane after spinning it once but flawless incarnation as the brains behind the main scheme, The Penguin: loved his 'wark wark' laugh, Two-Face: got the schizophrenia just right, Poison Ivy; not on for long but got her trademark paralysis kiss in there and The Scarecrow; again not on long but teamed up with Poison Ivy with his fear gas in order to stop our hero. This show also has my favourite incarnation of Catwoman. The actress got the right balance between "Purrrrfect" and sexy. Robin wasn't as annoying as Chris O'Donnall was and Alfred was done right too. Now the big two: The Batman. Didn't do a Christian Bale and adapted a more Adam West approach to not see the need to change voices to distinguish between Bruce Wayne and Batman. He was great he had the right badass-ness of The Dark Knight with the sophistication of Bruce. His costume, thank god, was free of bat-nipples. Now stealing the show, as any incarnation of him does, was The Joker. In my eyes this Joker was more Mark Hamil than that of the any of the live action film versions (Caesar Romaro, Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger) which is personally the best version. He got the moves, the voice and the laugh all pitch perfect. His purple jacket was equally as spot on. The Joker needs to be played with total madness, and this one was.

When writing the story to this, the writers clearly had just watched the Tim Burton Batman films and finished playing Arkham Asylum. Act One focuses around the origins of both Batman and Robin. Now Batman's is standard Zorro watching then mugged and the Flying Grayson's death also the origin of Robin. The second act is The Joker has taken control of Arkham Asylum and teamed up with the other rogues in Batman's history. The story features a catwoman karma turn-around at the end where she helps Batman defeat her former friends. One of the best parts was when Bruce tells Dick that he is Batman; there is a nice long pause and he clearly says "I'm Batman". Well rightfully so the entire audience erupted in applause and cheers.
The sets were all great, although the giant chair in Wayne Manor still confuses me. At the back of the stage was a huge screen that showed backdrops and other useful images, turning pages of a comic book to represent a scene change or the showing the bat-mobile driving through Gotham, being Bruce's Bat-Computer screen (Nerdy appreciation to the "Bat-OS" logo in the corner, to showing close ups during fight scenes all drawn by the genius that is Jim Lee. During the fight scenes it was hard to choose where to look; the stage or the screen, but everywhere was good.

I loved it. Not much else i can say other than if your a bat-fan and get a chance to see this: Do So. I saw it opening night at the Sheffield Arena and there was a technical fault, but there was an announcement that apologised and 5mins later the action started up again.

Overall: 9.5/10 (only because i wanted more)

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