It’s not every day that a Tyrannosaurus roars in your face. Especially not in Madison Square Garden.
For the next four days, the sports venue that’s normally home to towering basketball players and fast moving hockey stars will help your kids understand the Jurassic period. That’s thanks to “Walking With Dinosaurs“, a live show based on a BBC television series created a decade ago. Yes, live. The show takes you through 200 million years of dinosaur history in about 90 minutes, aided by the appearance of 15 dinosaurs–in animatronic and walking puppet form.
I took the kids to see “Walking With Dinosaurs” when it first played the Garden two years ago. And this week, I was lucky enough to win tickets to the return visit in a contest from the Liberty Science Center. The show is every bit as good as it was two years ago, even though this time we were anticipating the appearance of the T rex from the moment we got in our seats (a bit late since the traffic gods at the Lincoln Tunnel were not with us this time).
Rationally, you know when the house lights dim that you are not seeing real dinosaurs on the floor of the Garden. But rational thinking only lasts so long before you are drawn into believing that you and Huxley, the paleontologist character who narrates the show, are really watching the dinos interact and evolve. No carnivores rip apart herbivores, but the show is plenty scary for younger kids.
Now for the bad news. The show is at the Garden only through Sunday, July 25, and tickets are pricey: from $35 to $99 per person. Judging by the crowd in the Garden on Wednesday night, there still seem to be plenty of tickets available despite some clever marketer’s slogan urging people to “get them before they are extinct”. Two years ago, we got discount tickets through the Theater Development Fund. I’m seeing discount offers in several places on the Internet but can’t vouch for any of them. I can, however, say that, if you are going to spring for full-price seats, you should insist that they are in the 100s or 200s of the Garden’s regular seating (the court-side seats are blocked off because you’d get whacked by a dino tail if you sat there), at the end of the floor where the backboard or goal would normally be.
You won’t be disappointed.
UPDATE: Madison Square Garden is offering 25% off tickets for the show. All the info is here.
All photos © 2008 Global Creatures, Joan Marcus