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