April 23, 1987, Thursday, Home Edition
Calendar; Part 6; Page 3; Column 1; Entertainment Desk
HEADLINE: KID BEAT: AN INTERGALACTIC EXTRAVAGANZA OPENS IN
BYLINE: By LYNNE HEFFLEY
a gas. It's a multimillion-dollar, high-tech, computerized
Masters of the Universe Power Tour," a glitzy combo of
sizzling special effects and non-stop action, opened Tuesday
night at the Anaheim Convention Center, following much television
and radio hoopla, and Mayor Bradley's proclamation of April
28 as "Masters of the Universe Day" in Los Angeles.
that Saturday morning television intergalactic duo He-Man
and She-Ra, and a host of superheroes and bad guys, the lavish
spectacle seemed to boggle the minds of the thousands of tots
attending, judging from their loud cheers and eager applause.
minds also may have been boggled in the lobby, where $6 programs,
$5 plastic "power-swords" and other merchandise
rapidly flattened many wallets.
$2-billion Masters of the Universe toy line has been transformed
into a live galactic gold mine. Produced by PACE Management
Corp., MTM Presentations Ltd. (a sister company of MTM Enterprises
Inc.) and Ohio's Front Row Theatre, the show, currently on
a 60-week national tour, is apparently making millions. For
example, its 11-day engagement at New York's Radio City Music
Hall in February grossed $1.2 million in ticket sales and
$350,000 in sales of merchandise.
what do you get for your $9 or $10.50 ticket? If you're not
stuck high up in a hard-to-see-from side section of the arena,
as was this reviewer, where you sort of feel like an orphan
outside a candy store, you get plenty: A prerecorded sound
track, two huge video screens, ramps, platforms and an enormous
stage, a Power Race on roller skates, fireworks, swordplay
and a black-light Intergalactic Circus.
also get characters like Man-at-Arms (Zack Hoffman), Beast
Man (Jeff Biggs), Rokkon (Kevin Langston) and Skeletor (Eric
Van Baars), their incredibly vivid costumes padded to heroically
appealing husband-and-wife team of Jack and Leslie Wadsworth
portray He-Man and She-Ra. She's a gorgeous fantasy blond
-- he's the one member of the cast who needs no padding.
Masters of the Universe have transported themselves to Earth
to share with its people the history and culture of their
planet, Eternia. Songster (Doug Howard) serves as rock 'n'
roll storyteller, narrating the action. Unfortunately, bad
guys Skeletor and Beast Man, Evil-Lyn (Michelle Nevidomsky)
and a contingent of Snake-Men have transported themselves
as well, bent on destroying the good guys.
swordplay and acrobatics highlight the many well-choreographed
fight scenes (Tony Christopher is director and choreographer).
At one point, the forces of good and evil take to their Power
Discs -- roller skates -- battling it out on a velodrome,
subdued, the bad guys retreat, leaving the stage clear for
the Eternians to present their space circus, a parade of enormous
Talliwallis, Jooglers, Zebrites and clownish Monkey Men.
the finale, the mammoth stage bristles with swords, sparks
and sound, as the evildoers make one last effort to prevail.
nearly two hours, it's a long nighttime outting for preschoolers,
but enthusiasm was not in short supply. The visual splendor
of the set (designed by Tom McPhillips) and Waldo Angelo's
superb costumes make this creation by Gary Goddard and Richard
Hoag a memorable experience.
20-minute break during the show interrupts its continuity
-- but gives the lobby vendors the opportunity to sell a lot
of merchandise. Just before intermission, He-Man entreats
the audience for its help in Eternia's struggle, urging children
to raise their Power Swords and take the Eternia Oath of Allegiance.
guesses as to how many kids without Power Swords came back
with them after intermission?
continue in Anaheim through Sunday, tonight and Friday at
7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30
p.m. (714-634-1300). The show resumes April 28 through May
3 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Tuesday through Saturday
at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday
at 1:30 p.m. Tickets: $9 to $10.50 (213) 410-1062.
Photo, View of the giant stage during the "Masters of
the Universe Power Tour" show at the Anaheim Convention
Center. MARK BOSTER / Los Angeles Times