A technically tricked-out arena production of "How to Train Your Dragon," adapted from the popular 2010 animated film about the adventures of a boy and his winged accomplice, will swoop into the First Niagara Center on Sept. 19 for a five-day run.
The Buffalo stop of the new arena show features a cast of 21 humans and 23 animatronic dragons of all shapes and sizes. The show, produced by DreamWorks and the Australia-based entertainment company Global Creatures, was inspired in part by the success of Global Creatures' "Walking with Dinosaurs," which came here in 2009.
"These stories can be brought to life in the theater and in different spaces and different venues, but something this big, of this scale, really could only be done in an arena," said Eric Stevens, head of live entertainment at DreamWorks. "If we could bring this to life in the right way, in a way that's never been seen before in a space that is typically an ice show or a circus, we had an opportunity to do something special."
The production is a technical feat, involving wirelessly controlled robotics in concert with a 20,000-
square-foot projection, along with live actors and acrobats. Stevens stressed that all the electronic spectacle was constructed in service of the story, which follows the Viking teenager Hiccup as he bucks his culture's dragon-slaying traditions and develops a bond with his faithful dragon friend, Toothless.
"It's really a blend of technology and the arts in a way that's never been done before," Stevens said.
Tickets, $19.50 to $69.60, go on sale Monday on tickets.com, by calling 888-223-6000 or at the First Niagara Center box office. More information is online at www.firstniagaracenter.com.