He­roes, vil­lains fly into Mo­he­gan Sun Arena with ‘Mar­vel Uni­verse Live’

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - CALENDAR - BY CHAR­LOTTE L. JA­COB­SON STAFF WRITER Contact the writer: cja­cob­son@cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570821-2061; @CV­cl­ja­cob­son

Kyle Murillo knows that with great power comes great re­spon­si­bil­ity.

With a back­ground in Taek­wondo and com­pet­i­tive gym­nas­tics, the 24-year-old Cal­i­for­nia na­tive was the per­fect fit for the role of Spi­der-Man for a new Mar­vel su­per­heroes arena show, com­ing to Wilkes-Barre Town­ship this week­end.

Su­per­heroes and vil­lains alike burst into Mo­he­gan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza with the re­gional de­but of “Mar­vel Uni­verse Live! Age of He­roes,” which be­gan Thurs­day.

Per­for­mances take place 7 p.m. Fri­day, 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Satur­day and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sun­day.

“(Mar­vel comics) are peo­ple’s modern-day mythol­ogy,” Murillo said. “It has these gods and super he­roes run­ning about and do­ing jus­tice for the world. I think that’s what gets peo­ple ex­cited. It gives them an es­cape from their ev­ery­day life, and gives them this su­per­pow­ered uni­verse where any­thing could hap­pen.”

Au­di­ences can ex­pect to see fa­vorite more than 25 Mar­vel char­ac­ters from the Avengers — Iron Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk and Black Widow — to the Guardians of the Gal­axy’s mis­fit mem­bers Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax, as they fight against schem­ing vil­lains like Loki, Neb­ula, Yondu and Green Goblin.

“I like to ex­plain it as see­ing a Mar­vel movie in real life,” Murillo said. “You can go to your fa­vorite ‘Avengers’

movie, but here you step straight through the screen. Peo­ple can ex­pect to see its own orig­i­nal sto­ry­line... Ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite su­per­heroes bat­tle it out with the vil­lains be­fore they de­stroy the uni­verse.”

The show is in­fused with spe­cial ef­fects, py­rotech­nics, mar­tial arts, mo­tor­cy­cle stunts, video pro­jec­tions and aerial ma­neu­vers that Murillo spe­cial­izes in.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing to work as the aerial Spi­der-Man,” he said. “Me and my grounded coun­ter­part, we both switch off ev­ery now and then. When I first swing out, I swing from build­ing to build­ing in New York City, ready to save the day, and I see thou­sands of chil­dren and fam­i­lies cheer­ing. I grew up on Spi­der-Man car­toons, so it’s very ex­cit­ing and thrilling.”

Luck­ily for him, be­hindthe-scenes tech masters make sure Murillo never ap­pears on stage at the same time as his grounded coun­ter­part. Although Murillo did not have to prac­tice these cues, there were plenty of other learn­ing curves through­out the re­hearsal pro­cesses.

Prior to tour­ing, all ac­tors ex­pe­ri­enced ex­ten­sive stunt train­ing, where they learned

skills like how to fly and fall safely, as well as how to work with spe­cial ef­fects like ex­plo­sions and py­rotech­nics. Ad­di­tion­ally, Murillo said, the pro­duc­tion en­sured each ac­tor un­der­stood and con­nected with his re­spec­tive su­per­heroes be­fore tak­ing the stage.

“I per­son­ally re­late to Spi­der-Man be­cause I, my­self, am a big dork,” he said. “I also have a child­ish de­meanor to my­self, in terms of ma­tu­rity and hu­mor. I feel my­self closely re­late to Spi­der-Man. For the rest of the au­di­ence, who is mainly younger, I think it will be the same. He’s so child­ish in na­ture and close (in age) to them, that he’s eas­ily re­lat­able. He’s a high school kid. He’s able to joke around, even dur­ing se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tions.”

Like stan­dard comic books, “Mar­vel Uni­verse Live!” aims to give view­ers an ex­cit­ing jour­ney, while also pre­sent­ing a dis­tinct theme.

“I sup­pose the mes­sage would be to never give up, and al­ways fight for what’s right. As any great su­per­hero should,” Murillo said.

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