I was a little nervous about the show at first, but it was a ton of fun for my family.

Photo by Chelsea Fischer, Milwaukee Magazine

I did not understand why the internet had been persistently pushing me ads for “Jurassic World Live” weeks ahead of its arrival at the Fiserv Forum. I haven’t seen 2018’s installment (I have no idea what number we’re on at this point) and while I thoroughly enjoyed the first series, its been a decade or two since I’ve seen it. It was comparing this production to the movies that clouded my expectations of the show. It wasn’t really being promoted for me.

The day before the opening performance I was asked if my five and seven year-old boys would enjoy going. Initially hesitant they wouldn’t be ready for the potential action and violence I associate with the franchise, a quick google search told me this show had been created for fans of all ages. The fog started to clear. Kids love dinosaurs! I have kids!

First mention of attending the show brought yelps of excitement from both of my boys. They haven’t seen the movies, but the brand is so well known they knew this would be something special. Their energy was contagious.

Donned in dinosaur sweatshirts recovered from the backs of drawers, we headed to pre-show eats in the Deer District and then scurried across the street to join the crowd of other kids decked from head to toe in dino gear. Creative lighting and a large set at one side of the arena had transformed the floor into Isla Nublar. From the first sight of a triceratops, my kids were captivated. The story jumped into action and quickly set up heroes and villains for the little viewers. It was easy to get lost in the theatrics. Within the first 10 minutes the stage filled with soldiers and motorcycles zoomed around the floor surrounding a dinosaur named Jeanie, who we have learned may be the smartest dinosaur scientists have encountered. From there, the story follows our hero scientists as they try to save Jeanie and bring down an evil plot to militarize raptors.

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The actors were in constant movement around the stage, fighting off the villains and engaging with dinosaurs. A highlight was a flock of pterodactyls descending from the rafters, one even carrying away a bad guy. There was fog, explosions, and giant flame throwers. We all wished we had the front row seats where the dinosaurs and actors engaged with the audience. Even where we were, all ages were engrossed in the performance from start to finish.

Overall, “Jurassic World Live” was the perfect way to introduce young viewers to the franchise and I’m now looking forward to a series of movie nights with my boys as they grow into the more mature story lines.

Photo by Chelsea Fischer, Milwaukee Magazine

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