The dinosaurs of Glen Rose come alive on Friday when the multi-media production “Land of the Dinosaurs” starts its 13-week run at the Texas Ampitheatre.
Jay Clayton, president of the Land of the Dinosaurs LLC, said the production will help boost tourism and encourage visitors to stay overnight.
Clayton described “Land of the Dinosaurs” as “Jurassic Park meets Swiss Family Robinson meets Andrew Lloyd Webber,” the English composer of musical theater known for such hit musicals as The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Cats.
Four shows will play each week at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. That, plus the staging of the passion play The Promise, will keep the ampitheatre booked for about five to six months of the year.
The Glen Rose 4b Economic Development Tax Corporation has invested $80,000 in the project.
The production will feature animatronics, which uses electronics and robotics to simulate realistic movements and make the dinosaurs, including a 43-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex come “alive.” The dinosaurs are made by Billings Productions in McKinney.
Special effects such as a smoking volcano, lighting and a musical score will add to the action and atmosphere. Oh, and there are real actors, too.
Although the dinos are the stars, the story focuses on family and relationships. When the Herald family — father Richard, son Jeremiah and precocious twins Holly and Harry — encounter a brilliant scientist named Helena, they accidentally get thrown back several million years into the past.
As the family struggles for survival and to find a way back to their time, they encounter dinosaurs at every turn. Will they survive? Will they get eaten? And what about that smoldering volcano in the background?
Clayton will only say that no one gets eaten onstage and that there is no “frontal kissing,” so it’s a G-rated production.
He said the show will benefit area merchants and draw attention to other attractions as well. For example, Land of the Dinosaurs is co-branding tickets with the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.
Tickets may be purchased at www.landofthedinosaurs.com or by calling the box office at 877-DINOLAND. General admission is $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors and $15 for children. Reserved and premium seating also is available.