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December 3, 2009
News Article: The Roanoke Star

The movie Jurassic Park was the first of its kind to create a real-life depiction of dinosaurs. Now, The Creature Production Company, in association with BBC-TV Worldwide, has created a theatrical presentation of dinosaurs that are life-sized and close enough to touch. "Walking with Dinosaurs" will roam at the Roanoke Civic Center January 8-10, 2010.

The dinosaurs are within scale of their true size. CEO of The Creature Production Company, Carmen Pavlovic, said at a preview event last week that "The dinosaurs are life-sized, making the show so immense it could only fit in arenas. It's a 20 million dollar arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality, which captivates young and old alike." The show uses 25 tractor-trailers to haul the dinosaur show around - a concert will typically use 5-8. It took six years to develop the program in Australia.

The dinosaurs actually have "skin" and moving, blinking eyes. They also react to the audience, producing even more of a dramatic effect. A baby T-Rex came out during the demonstration to visit with some children from nearby Roanoke Catholic School.

"It is so realistic and wonderful to see the children's excitement," said one teacher. Student Sabrina Becker noted, "It was kind of scary at first because they look so real, but then you know they are not." The baby T-Rex ensemble, a small mockup of what will be here in January, weighs 100 pounds and was worn by a man. Meanwhile the show's walking T-Rex is 1.8 tons; the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall and 56 feet long. It can nearly reach the ceiling of the Roanoke Civic Center Coliseum.

Roanoke City Mayor David Bowers, on hand for the media event, said, "Don't spend all of your money at Christmas; you will want to save [some] for what is coming to the Roanoke Civic Center." Sheila Umberger, Roanoke City Library Director, felt the quasi-educational program "will enrich our community."

She also wanted to remind people that December is dinosaur month at the libraries, with special activities planned throughout the month. The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville is also hosting a DINO DAY on January 23. Ryan Barber, Director of Marketing for the museum, encouraged the public to plan a stop and visit the real bones of dinosaurs on display there.

A review written in The Christian Science Monitor said "Walking with Dinosaurs" is "precisely what the title promises - 90 minutes of mammoth, life-sized reptiles. They are scientifically accurate, not to mention technological and creative marvels. They are just the first wave of immersion ‘edutainment'."

Tickets prices start at $19.50 and top out at $59.50. The January 8th show is at 7 p.m. Shows on Saturday the 9th are at 11a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. There are two shows on Sunday the 10th at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The dinosaurs are so large that there really aren't any bad seats in the arena. The youngest age suggested for show attendees is 3.

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