Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Batman Live

I've known of the Batman Live World Arena Tour for quite some time but I had no idea Poison Ivy was a part of this production until today. How this got past my attention is way beyond me. The first official group shot has been released and it features many colorful characters including the Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, the Riddler, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, and of course Batman and Robin.

The overall motif appears to be very "comic book" with obvious nods to the original 1960s Batman television series and sprinklings from the animated DCU. Let us not forget that this is very much a musical.

Batman Live Cast Photo

The costumes range from great to good to "what the heck". I think Batman and Robin look a bit too much like the film of their namesake. Schumacher-esque if you will (but no Bat nipples). Harley doesn't seem to fair as well either. I'm not a huge fan of the blue/red styling and the lack of a jester hat is just wrong. At first I thought it was for performing reasons but then Catwoman is in a full cowl so there really is no excuse. The male villains look fantastic and fun in classic looks. However, I have mixed feelings on Poison Ivy's costuming.

Poison Ivy Concept Art

If they would have stuck to the concept art for the production Poison Ivy had the potential for a gorgeous display. I do understand avoiding the green skin because the makeup application would have been entirely too tedious. But there was no reason to ignore the more structured swimsuit area of the costume. They settled for what appears to be sequin covered vines around the arms and legs and a patchy lingerie like ice skating outfit. It's not terrible but there's a too-forced air of sexiness here that could be easily read as cheap. It's not a total fail but every other character has a very substantial costume while Ivy appears to be ready for a bedroom tease. See the final costume in action below.

The woman portraying Poison Ivy is Russian born Valerie Murzak. Valerie appears to be a circus performer who specializes in aerial acts. In the cast credits she is identified as portraying a "character" but is not included in the primary cast line-up. I'm suspecting she is there to fill out the stage with some sex appeal but may not have a full speaking role. Perhaps her skills as an aerialist will be put on display.

If you click over to the the official Batman Live website you will find a full Poison Ivy character profile. A profile that includes a few images from Batman Hush and desktop wallpapers. Jim Lee has been credited for doing the promotional artwork so it's no surprise that his Hush contributions also make an appearance. You'll notice that he created a different version of Poison Ivy for this show.

This traveling production is touring the UK so we Americans may not get to see Batman Live. Though if it does well perhaps they will bring it stateside. I would definitely go. Good luck Valerie and do our girl proud! For further behind the scenes footage go to SFX's Youtube channel.


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