It’s not often that one gets to see life-sized, fire-breathing dragons soaring overhead, but that’s exactly the type of thrilling sights in store at Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular” coming up Dec. 6-9 at Tacoma Dome. The last time such a reptilian extravaganza thundered through the Dome was at the totally awesome “Walking with Dinosaurs,” the number one grossing world tour of 2010 that immersed audiences into a prehistoric world created through wondrous technology and the dreams of visionary creators made real. “How To Train Your Dragon” was conceived and brought to life by these same storytellers at DreamWorks Animation and Global Creatures, and the production had a stellar reception at its launch in Australia and New Zealand.
Just as “Walking with Dinosaurs” received rave reviews from fans and critics alike, the same holds true for “How to Train Your Dragon” – it shows every sign of being a visual feast audiences will remember for a long time to come. The show features more than a dozen dragons, some with wingspans of up to 46 feet and all with their own unique personality and charm, even the scary ones – but not so scary that little ones will be frightened, as the show is perfect for all ages. Some of the dragons weigh more than one and a half tons and take up to three people to operate. An epic adventure full of wonder and laughter, there has never been a production like this on any stage anywhere in history. “‘How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular’ is an extraordinary re-imagining of the story that breaks new ground in visual storytelling,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “The early reception to the show has been phenomenal.”
Whether you’re nine or 90, the technologically advanced artistry showcased in “How to Train Your Dragon” seems to appeal to everyone. Those who have seen the Academy Award nominated movie of the same name will be familiar with the basic storyline. The epic adventure is as engaging as the visual spectacle as it tells the heartwarming tale of a boy named Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. In the far away land of Berk, Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he befriends an injured dragon named Toothless that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view, one in which Vikings and dragons unite in a show-stopping battle to save both their worlds. “We are excited to expand the boundaries of public expectation by creating a show that combines dynamic creatures, world class performers and incredible staging to not only thrill and intrigue, but to engage audiences on an emotional level as well,” said Global Creatures Chief Executive Officer Carmen Pavlovic.
Young Hollywood actor Riley Miner, who just graduated from high school this year, plays Hiccup. Rarmian Newton shares the role; he won a Helpmann Award for his performance in the Australian production of “Billy Elliot The Musical.” Hiccup’s Viking friend Astrid, both tough and beautiful, is played by Gemma Nguyen, a third degree black belt and six time world champion in tae kwon do. Sarah McCreanor shares the role, an accomplished actor in her own right who has starred in her own productions and performed in a range of musicals and comedy shows. Michael Cohl is the founder and chairman of S2BN Entertainment, global promoter for “How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular,” and serves as lead producer of the Broadway smash hit “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” “We’re thrilled to be setting a new gold standard for live family entertainment while utilizing the full scope and scale of the arena floor and fly space,” Cohl said. “The show delivers cutting-edge production values that tell an incredible story and create an unforgettable and magical experience. This show will mesmerize children and parents alike.”