You probably guessed this from the image, but I went to see How To Train Your Dragon LIVE SPECTACULAR! last night. Here’s the abridged story of the experience.
I went with my mother, whom I have been living with since I got back from teaching English in South Korea last November. Is it weird that I hang out with my mother? No, because she’s awesome.
We had intended to get there with time to spare, but due to a road being under construction, and half of the John Labatt Centre parking lot being reserved for performers, we barely made it in time. Luckily there was a parking lot just across the street, but we ended up in line to pay the parking attendant behind the world’s slowest coin-counter. He/she paid the $10 parking fee entirely in coins. And then it turned out he/she had miscounted, because the parking attendant had to give her back some change, further slowing down the process. Ack.
Into the theatre!
Having conquered the parking lot, we proceeded into the theatre. Now I have to say, it’s a pretty cool set-up they have going. They basically clear out this huge rectangular space, which is ringed with big boxes that can shoot out plumes of fire. And then on the back wall there is a gigantic screen onto which is projected scenery and backgrounds for the play.
The show begins …
The show started, and it was … honestly, it’s hard to describe. The acting was kind of sub-par, although that might be because the stage was so huge that the actors were tiny, and it was hard to really make a connection with them. The dragons, on the other hand, were just phenomenal. They spared no expense with this show. They had full-size animatronic dragons rolling around the floor, jumping and walking and breathing fire (well, smoke with a red light flashing from the dragon’s mouth), and it was just insanely cool.
The best part, hands down, was when Hiccup got on Toothless and flew into the air. They had Toothless attached to a rolling platform mechanism on a track on the roof of the stage, and then the cables were able to mimic Toothless swooping up and down through the air. The effect was heightened by that projection screen I mentioned, on which they had beautiful clouds and sky and … honestly, it looked like the guy and the dragon were actually flying. It was SO cool.
Holy dragons, Batman!
Then disaster struck! Toothless was supposed to take off with Hiccup and Astrid for their romantic flight … and nothing happened. “Come on, Toothless, let’s go!” shouted the actor, patting the animatronic dragon on the head. “Let’s go, buddy!” But nothing happened.
“There will be a brief pause as we deal with some technical issues,” said the announcer.
I actually really liked that part. Everything had been so seamless that I almost forgot we were dealing with giant, robot dragons. Of course they’re going to malfunction sometimes. I also wisely chose to remain in my seat, instead of heading for the bathroom like about half the theatre. Which was clever, because the problem was fixed about three minutes later, so at least 20% of the audience had to rush back to their seats and missed part of the show. Silly people.
Time for the big shampoo.
The big king dragon guy at the end was pretty cool, although they only built his head and tail. Still, they had Toothless up in the air again, and the projection screen showed lots of fiery smoke and clouds and stuff so it looked very much like they were flying. The bad dragon died, Toothless and Hiccup survived, and the actors had a big dance party to a rather boring song as they took their bows.
Has anyone seen How to Train Your Dragon LIVE SPECTACULAR? Does anyone want to? Does anyone NOT want to after reading this post? Does anyone think dragons are super cool? Does anyone like answering endless questions about their likes and dislikes? Does anyone enjoy a nice platter of assorted cheeses?
This next part isn’t remotely related to the post.
Check out this youtube video. It’s about a guy who went to North Korea and filmed his journey. It’s awesome, mostly because North Korea is crazy.