Universal Hollywood hits its mark with grown-up 'Creature from the Black Lagoon'
Universal Studios Hollywood is trashing industry convention with Creature from the Black Lagoon
, staging a raucous Broadway-quality musical that revels in adult humor.
This isn't a show for the kiddies. Universal dusted off one of its classic monster franchises and brought it back to life with a fresh musical adaptation, one that's equal parts silly, sexy and snarky.
If you're not familiar with the 1954 horror classic, USH's 25-minute live show riffs off the same plot - an expedition travels to the Amazon, where a comely young scientist becomes the target for the eponymous creature. Except that this time, in a twist straight out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, our lustful young lady lead is as hot for the Creature as he is for her.
Listen carefully to the lyrics, as Universal Creative's packed the show with silly pop culture references and sharp R-rated puns, the best of which I don't dare repeat here but that had me laughing loudly, as much at Universal's audacity for trying them as for the jokes themselves.
Visually, "Creature" delights, with choreography from Lynne Taylor-Corbett, a film veteran who also choreographed the Aladdin show at Disney's California Adventure. "Creature" makes full use of modern stagecraft, launching its leads above the audience for a stunning mid-air recreation of the film's swim sequence. A towering puppet also plays a role, slyly controlled by several puppeteers.
The cast, as usual for Universal Studios Hollywood, gives its all, but with a delightful script and original score to play with, they deliver a far more entertaining show than the Castle Theater's seen in years.
Some parents might complain, but I say it's about time that a theme park tried to extend its range. The jokes here would seem tame in any comedy club, but for a theme park, they are risque. (Universal promises warnings outside and inside the theater, advising parents of the adult content within.) Many theme park shows have played two-level jokes before, with a double entendre aimed at keeping the parents in the audience as amused as their kids. "Creature" dumps the kiddie level, and aims its gags straight at the grown-ups.
"Creature" hits its mark.
I've got to see this. Last time I was at Universal Hollywood was... well, 10 years ago. It's time to return.
Good report, but I think it kinda looks a bit dumb. I hate when movies, plays, or theme parks use pop references. Will people know Amy Winehouse or Axl Rose in five years?
I would hope that Universal would keep the script fresh, but a concept like this won't last forever - it's too irreverent for a long run. I do think it could lure some of the nighttime date crowd from CityWalk into the park, though.
Axl Rose has been around a bit longer than 5 years. Matter of fact I saw him with Guns and Roses at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Yep, Paradise City, One in a Million, November Rain, Live and Let Die.(borrowed from the Beatles) I think Axl has stood the test of time. But anyway, Creature looks like a good show. Let's just hope it's better than Beetlejuice's Graveyard Review at Universal Orlando.
"It's about time that theme parks extend their range". Exactly my thoughts, hence the reason I liked Hard Rock Park and all it had to offer. It had an edgy personality, a lot of which is gone, some due to the intellectual property BS from the previous management, and some due to Freestyle wanting to tone it down.
I didn't mean that Axl Rose was going to be or is insignificant, but one of these days, the kids are going to ask Axl who I think. Though we probably will never know, I bet there was some Michael Jackson joke.
Derek, I am with you completely. As much as I harp on parks for having too few family-oriented attractions, they also suffer from not having enough adult-oriented experiences, especially in the after hours. I am not asking for a themed strip club or a XXX simulator ride (
I saw it 2 hours ago and was very dissaponted a load of people walked out even the cast member said they wished that they had fear factor and in my eyes a very pointess ending.
If there's any park where an adult-humor show could work, it is USH. With thousands of date-night couples at CityWalk on weekends, and a healthy influx of young adults even on weekdays, a more adult-targeted show in the theme park might be able to draw some of those visitors into the park.
Fear Factor? Puh-lease! I can't wait until the one in Orlando is closed for good. Ugh! 'Creature' may not be a great show (I may never find out), but I am sure it is light-years ahead of anything Fear Factor ever offered in the way of entertainment.
Completely agree on the adult entertainment points. Jungle Cruise humor can only go so far.
I won't be getting to USH for another 2 years but I hope the show is still around. It looks great.
I was at the media event as well, and I have to say that I strongly disagree with you Robert. Universal has popped out a show that is edgy for the sake of being edgy. And no matter how excited forty-something year adults get over a "Show for them" I can't help but wonder how in the world they do not see the juvenility of the jokes in this show. The "Male Growth Cream" 'plot twist' (If you have seen the show, you know what I mean) is so ridiculous that I felt it was almost an insult to my intelligence.
I think is this a show for the CollegeHumor.com generation - it's silly and self-parodying. It won't be for everyone, but again, I'm getting a bit tired with every non-roller-coaster attraction trying
I'm looking forward to seeing this, when and if I finally get back to the west coast. Fear Factor was not bad, but when you've seen it once, no need to see it again. This looks like a big improvement, so what's their excuse in Florida for hanging on to tired old FF?
Have it in for this show? Are you really going to try and tell me that everyone who did not enjoy the show had a pre-disposition against it?
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