Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes is an onstage Marvel event coming to arenas nationwide, bringing together over 25 Marvel Superheroes and Villains for a comic book extravaganza featuring all sorts of stunts and theatrics. As the show opens in Austin, Texas this weekend, we here at SuperBroMovies were invited to go behind-the-scenes of this ambitious show.
During our visit, we learned about all the individual aspects that go into putting this production together. From months of prep work, countless hours seaming together costumes, and getting the lighting and choreography right, Marvel Universe Live! is the real deal.
The event began with a thrilling sneak peek performance of Spider-Man facing the Green Goblin in a breath-taking duel that makes you feel as if you are physically in the Marvel Universe. The choreography was spot on, with a booming score playing while Peter Parker and the Green Goblin traded. One of the best things about this preview was the audio. The voice behind the Green Goblin was very dark, mysterious and sinister. It definitely got us hyped to see this battle play out on stage.
Following the performance, we got excited to check out what it actually takes to put on those uniforms and perform on stage. Two of the performers involved in the show took us through a fight demo, where they showed us how they cheat their movement to make it look as if the characters are actually beating the snot out of each other. For instance, whenever a character is punched in the stomach, they actually do get punched in the stomach very lightly, while exaggerating their other motions to sell the punch.
However, the coolest part of this fight demo was that they let one of our writers, James, actually participate in it. After a few minutes of getting the hang of it, one of the performers promised to “make them super”, and in the next minute it looked like James was flipping the performer over. Despite the simplicity, the way this move was set up was brilliant, which extends to the rest of the production as well.
Following was a showing of the costumes. Little did we know how much tech is involved. The costumes and their masks have little sensors, so instead of someone controlling a huge light on top of the stage trying to follow a specific individual, the lights follow beads attached to the costumes and their masks. Finding this out was very shocking because it just shows how innovative this experience is. Another thing was the cleaning process of the costumes. “We can’t just wash them in a dryer,” said one of the team members displaying the uniforms. “We actually have to hand wash them and hand dry them. Especially if there is blood on them, which there is sometimes.”
Our peek into Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes ended with an obligatory selfie station, where James and Andrew got to take pictures with Thor’s hammer and several masks of the characters.
Whether you’re young or old, as long as you’re a fan, Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes has a little something for everyone. The incredible work put into nearly every aspect of the performance assures that this show will, indeed, make the audience super themselves.
–James Preston Poole & Andrew Vela