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Not all dinosaurs look fierce. Some, especially the babies, are surprisingly cute and cuddly. Audience members volunteer to go onstage, where they can stroke, feed and even hug the creatures. words, a phony dinosaur like Barney would look very much out of place in this crowd. More than 1 million people worldwide have seen Erth’s carefully crafted dinosaurs via several different touring shows and in museum exhibitions. “You’ll meet an eye-popping collection of amazingly lifelike dinosaurs and other creatures,” says a show spokesperson. “This theatrical performance thrills and entertains kids while stimulating their imaginations in ways that forever connect them to their world.” So, what can you expect? At the very least, your kids (and you) will be amazed, amused and informed. (The New York Times wrote that the show “delivers solid science as well as an extraordinary spectacle.”) The hosts are usually Australian comedian Miles Portek and Australian actress/ musician Aimee Louisanne. Dressed in typical zookeeper khakis, they offer opening monologues, after which increasingly outsized “guest stars” are introduced and de- ���������������� ������ ���� �������������������� �������� ���������������������� ���������� humorous) way. There’s plenty of audience participation, during which some attendees get a chance to go onstage and stroke, feed and even hug the dinosaurs. For kids seated up front, in the so-called “danger zone,” the dinosaurs are just as likely to come to them. Even the carnivores! Kids located further from the stage might �������� ���� ������������ ���������� ���� ������������ ���������������������� �������� ���������������� �������������������� ������ ���������������� ������������������������ (Where’s the bug spray when you need it?) But those who aren’t able to get up close 50 artsLife | FALL 2016 and personal can still visit the creatures and have photos taken with them after the performance. (You can also buy a VIP package, which includes an onstage meet-and-greet with cast members — humans and reptiles — 45 minutes prior to showtime.) In addition to the dinosaurs, you’ll see such effects as prehistoric plants that “grow” out ������ �������� ������������ ������������ �������������������� ������ �������������� ������ sound, video and lighting magic to stimulate every sense. Clocking in at a compact 50 minutes, the fast-paced show holds the attention of even the squirmiest preschoolers. A reviewer in Primary Times, a family-oriented magazine in the U.K., recently wrote that her youngster ������������������������������������������������������������������������ “My shy 5-year-old was standing on his seat with both hands up when they were asking for volunteers.” �� — Randy Noles EVENT: Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live DATE/TIME: Friday, February 17, 2017, 7 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: Kids (and their parents) get to meet a menagerie of realistic-looking dinosaurs. The show, which is based on the latest knowledge of paleontology, is recommended for ages 3 and up. TICKETS: Prices start at $17.50 ���������������������������������������������������������������������� PHOTO BY CHRIS WAITS


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