'Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular'
- What: Seventeen life-size animatronic dinosaurs move, snarl and interact in show that depicts their evolution and Earth’s changes, based on the BBC series “Walking With Dinosaurs”
- Where: Thompson-Boling Arena
- When: 7 p.m. April 30; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. May 1; 1 and 5 p.m. May 2
- Tickets: $19.50-$49.50, plus service charges, go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, March 19, at Tickets Unlimited outlets, 865-656-4444 or knoxvilletickets.com; discounts for groups of 10 or more at 865-250-3842.
Seventeen life-size dinosaurs roam and roar through Thomspon-Boling Arena April 30-May 2 in a production that’s part theater, part history.
“Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular” is huge, and that’s no promoter’s hyberbole. It’s so big the story has to got play out across the floor of a venue like Thompson-Boling. These pretend dinosaurs of fabric, foam and cables are the size of the real animals that lived millions of years ago.
Tickets range from $19.50-$49.50, plus service charges, and go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Friday, March 19. Tickets are available at all Tickets Unlimited outlets, 865-656-4444 or knoxvilletickets.com.
Originating in Australia in 2007, “Walking With Dinosaurs” is based on an award-winning BBC Television series. With detailed sets, music and lighting, the show tells the story of the animals’ evolution over some 200 million years. As the story is told, the earth changes, oceans form and volcanoes erupt. But it’s the dinosaur creations themselves that take center stage.
Ten species are represented, and these are some large creations of engineering, animatronics and puppetry. The show includes a fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex built 23 feet tall and 42 feet long. There’s a 36-foot-long Stegosaurus and a 43-foot-long Allosaurus; a 10-foot-tall Plateosaurus and a 16-foot-long Liliensternus. The flying Ornithocheirus has a 38-foot wingspan; each of three Utahraptors stands eight feet tall.
The largest animal created is an adult Brachiosaurus. The long-necked creature is 36 feet tall and 56 feet long. A Brachiosaurus youngster is almost 30 feet tall and 48 foot long.
It’s not only that these pretend dinosaurs are big, but that they move, snort, walk, roar, fight, gnash and parade about the arena floor.
Fifty technicians, engineers and artists are needed a year to build the show’s dinosaurs. Each large dinosaur weighs about the size of a family car and is made of such materials as fabric, foam, hydraulic hoses and cables. Microprocessers, hydraulic motors and power from truck batteries make them move. Much of the technology used to make the dinosaurs move comes from computer software and hardware and techniques used in films.
© 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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