Feld Entertainment is reimagining the live show spectacular and creating an unforgettable experience that will bring your favorite heroes from Marvel – LIVE! to a city near you. (Click for an exclusive code for shows in Southern California)
Recently, we participated in a tour of the production facilities for Feld Entertainment in Florida, as they got ready to launch Marvel Universe LIVE: Age of Heroes. The company has been shepherded by the Feld Family for fifty years since they acquired Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus and have brought other shows to life Disney on Ice. Currently they’re working to bring to life a new show that seeks to immerse Marvel fans in the comic book worlds they grew up reading or watching on the big screen.
While at the company home base, not only did we get to meet with Juliette Feld, the C.O.O. of the company, but we were able to talk to the various teams of the Marvel production. From fight choreography to bike stunts and costuming, here are the twenty most exciting facts about the event!
- Juliette Feld couldn’t see herself working anywhere else. In a talk with us she shared, “I grew up watching my dad produce Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. and Siegfried and Roy and being around all these shows and being backstage. We used to spend all of our holidays in rehearsals, so we were actually in the process. So we got to go to clown college and we got to take notes on who we thought was funny and do things like that. My sisters and I provided a lot of inspiration as kids.”
- Feld Entertainment also produces shows for Monster Trucks as well as Disney On Ice, while Ringling Bros. has been retired. Taking the reins of a family legacy is super important to Feld and keeping true to the spirit of anything they undertake. “When you think about what we do, this is a manufacturing space for all the dreams and heroes and trucks and all these fantastical things that we put out there. I mean that’s what we make in this building. Marvel is very secretive which is great because they get to come out and really wow the fans. Earlier this week we had Joe Quesada who is the Chief Creative Officer for Marvel saw the show on tuesday and provided us some feedback on the characters to help steer the show to be even better and make the show more authentic to Marvel. He’s intimately involved in developing the script as well as stunts with us to make sure it’s exactly what fans expect.”
- This is their second Marvel show. The opened one in 2014 which toured for five years around the United States, Europe and other places internationally. Age of Heroes, which will be premiering is an entirely different show with a new story. It will also feature new characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange , Iron Fist, and Black Panther.
- Feld understands that as a family operated company (she has two sisters) they understand what it’s like to pack up a family, prepare for a day trip out and want to make sure that the caliber of the show and it’s quality is accessible and worth it for families globally. They also listen to fans via social media and outreach to find ways to improve the show and overall experience for the modern day family.
- Characters were designed from a mixture of resources including comic runs and ideas of gear that Marvel sends directly. Joe Quesada approves them all. For Nebula’s costumes, the department riffed on both the film costume and cartoon. For Starlord, his costume as based on the cartoon but they gave his red leather jacket some fun twists.
- Joe Quesada also approves how the costumes work with the choreography. For example at one point, Wasp’s wing were too big for the aerial stunt work so they did a redesign. Flight director Mark Dirkse explained that the look had to look natural, “The flight that originates out of her body involves lifting her and moving her at high rates of speed but it also allows the actor to affect the motion at the end of the straps to go from fast to slow.”
- Aerialist Ashley Loyd shared with us that she was excited to be Wasp and discussed a little bit of her role in the show, “She helps the Avengers with their task and fights and everything–whatever trouble they’re trying to stop–she goes and helps with her aerial approach to her fighting style.”
- Did we mention that the new show includes an incredible amount of female characters for the show? Audiences will get to see fan faves like Wasp, Gamora, Nebula, Black Cat and Black Widow as integral characters in the story and with awesome fights and stunts in Age of Heroes. Also Rocket is played by a woman!
- Black Widow gets really great moments in the show where she does fantastic bike stunt work alongside Captain America. The bike actors who play the duo, while not too familiar initially with the characters, have taken the time and care to learn more about them and are really proud to represent heroes kids look up to.
- There will be a super cool photo-op available for fans where they’ll get to see if they’re worthy and try to lift Mjolnir. We did it, we were worthy.
- During the dress rehearsal run, we were able to watch the show in its entirety alongside local families who brought their little ones in a special performance space at the facilities where they’re able to run through all aspects of the show before sending it off on tours around the country.
- The technology is really state of the art. Utilizing special mapping projections on the set, audiences are taken along for a ride to places including the Collector’s Fortress and Queens, NYC to Wakanda. It’s incredible.
- The show opens with a fight between Nebula and Gamora, which sets the tone of the show. The ladies AREN’T put on the back burner or play back-ups. Many times they’re front and center in the major fights alongside Iron Man, Cap and Spider-Man. Even the bike stunt team has multiple female performers. It’s great to see that balance and have that be seen by children in the audience.
- The characters retain the spirit of their Marvel Cinematic Universe Counterparts. Iron Man is reminiscent of Downey, the Guardians of the Galaxy carry the same sense of humor as they do in the film. Tony and Cap sass at each other. Its hilarious and enjoyable for Marvel fans of all ages.
- The pyrotechnics involved in Doctor Strange taking the Avengers through dimensions is a remarkable surprise that works so well in a live space. Don’t want to give much away about it and the tech used because it really has to be seen to be believed.
- Both Groot and the Hulk costumes for their transformations look very well done and not corny and are pretty functional to be a part of the action.
- It’s super thrilling to see Spider-Man’s web-slinging action with his rigging work that really makes it seems like he’s leaping and bounding in his fights. Same goes for Wasp whenever she flies in to kick some butt.
- The story brings together all these heroes in a believable way, mashing up high octane stunts, familiar relationship dynamics and showcases all the elements of a live acrobatic and stunt show in the world of Marvel.
- A lot of the performers in these shows have formerly been a part of the circus and stunt acts of the Ringling Bros. tours and are kept in as part of the family. There are segments of the show that throwback to classic elements like silk flying and fire dancing.
- This is the first live-action super team up fans will get to see before Avengers Infinity War but bear in mind that the story lines have nothing to do with one another. In this one Nebula and Loki team up over a maguffin they steal for ultimate power and are chased by the Avengers. No Thanos in sight–but still extremely fun to watch with fellow Marvel fans and little ones. And let’s not forget, the merch is amazing just like this cute Rocket Racoon!
Marvel Universe LIVE: Age of Heroes premiere in Los Angeles’ Staples Center on July 7, 2017. After that, the show will move to the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario and wrap up it’s So-Cal stop at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Tickets are on sale now for all SoCal shows and start at just $25! They’re available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office.