When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I thought dinosaurs were so cool and I wanted to spend my life digging up fossils and matching bones up to learn more about these creatures. I still think dinosaurs are really cool, so when I found out that SIPA got tickets from Verizon to see Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular at the Staples Center, I knew that I had to go see this for myself. I mean, come on, it’s dinosaurs! Giant, realistic, mechanical dinosaurs! Of course, I had to wear my dinosaurs-wearing-sunglasses shirt.
Before I talk about the show, I have to mention the suite that we ended up sitting in. I don’t think anyone actually knew that we were getting a suite, even though Verizon gave us VIP tickets. You just had to scan your ticket to open up the door and BAM. Couches, chairs, a sink, and a box seat view of everything. It was just a cool experience and the show hadn’t even started yet.
The actual show was really cool to watch. Our paleontologist actor friend took us back in time to the Triassic period where we were introduced to the plateosaurus, a giant herbivore, and a liliensternus, a large meat-eater which came along and ate a baby dinosaur, showing the stadium full of kids that the story of the dinosaurs isn’t always happy. I wonder if any kids were a little traumatized by that encounter. Poor baby dinosaur.
As Pangea split apart and we entered the Jurassic period, we got a change of scenery featuring lots of plants. One of my favorite dinosaurs, the stegosaurus, ended up walking in before an allosaurus came in after it and a short battle ensued. The stegosaurus used its spiked tail to fend of the carnivore and eventually the pair was replaced by two brachiosauruses. And yes, that is apparently the plural of brachiosaurus and I am not just making words up. This part especially reminded me of the Land Before Time series.
There was a twenty minute intermission in the how after that and we resumed with a flying ornithocheirus introducing us to the Cretaceous period. I’m glad that they had a flying dinosaur represented in the show and I was wondering when it would show up. Three Utahraptors ended up popping in to fight over a corpse and then BOOM…flowers.
We didn’t get to see my other favorite dinosaur, the triceratops, but there was a pair of torosaurs which duked it out with each other. This time, there was actually some damage and one of the torosaurs wound up with a broken horn. The loser left the stage and in came an ankylosaurus. The two armored giants wandered around a bit before our cast grew even bigger and a young tyrannosaurus rex came in to check out where the white girls at. Apparently, they weren’t there yet and the two bigger animals came closing in on t-rex junior.
Baby rex let out a couple of cries and lo and behold, mama rex came in to save the day. A relatively tame battle sequence commenced where the torosaur and the ankylosaurus made their exits and both mama and baby rex started giving victory roars all around the stage. It was pretty adorable watching baby rex trying to sound all fierce and instead giving out a little yelp. But alas, time was not on the dinosaur’s side and we all know how that story ended. Aliens.
Walking with Dinosaurs is actually a touring show, so while it isn’t in Los Angeles anymore, you still might be able to see it at a couple other cities throughout the United States and Canada until at least early next year. They definitely put a lot of effort in this production, so I think it’s worth it to check out, especially if you have any interest in dinosaurs at all. Even though there were definitely a lot of kids at the show, we still had a lot of fun, so travel back in time before it’s too late!