Puppeteer Peter Twose’s favorite moment in “Dinosaur World Live” is when Juliet the segnosaurus — a little known dinosaur with a long neck — makes her entrance.
“She’s the first on stage. She’s got so much character. You can get a lot of laughter from the audience with her,” Twose says.
Twose is hoping the same reaction occurs on Long Island, as Dinosaur World Live, which originated in the United Kingdom in 2016, comes to the United States for the first time, kicking off a 42-city tour with one show on Friday, Jan. 10 at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville.
The show features a human named Miranda who grew up on island off the coast of Argentina, where dinosaurs still exist and have been hidden from the world. Miranda decides to bring eight of them, including a 15-foot-tall roaring T-Rex, to America to present each one to audiences. Each dinosaur is named for a Shakespeare character, because the only books on Miranda’s island were the complete works of Shakespeare. “Each display goes a little bit wrong, with hilarious consequences,” Twose says.
Miranda — played in America by actor Romina Hytten — calls four children up from the audience during the interactive show to help demonstrate caring for the dinosaurs, including, for instance, feeding them or brushing them. “It’s quite random; it’s kind of the luck of the draw,” she says of how she chooses. But everyone in the audience has a chance to interact and take photographs with the dinosaurs after the 55-minute stage show, during a 20-minute meet- and-greet included in the ticket price, Twose says.
Puppeteers rotate operating the dinosaurs, acting as their wranglers. “We’re not trying to camouflage ourselves into the background,” says puppeteer Darcy Collins. “That’s part of the magic.” Some dinosaurs, like the enormous T-Rex, are very top heavy. “It has a massive roar we make,” Twose says. “Vocally it’s quite challenging.” Other dinosaurs are smaller with more specific movements. “It’s like the difference between weight lifting and tai chi,” Collins says. The puppeteers hint that there may be surprise awaiting the audiences as well. “We’re hoping to have a dinosaur egg that might hatch that day,” Twose teases.
Collins has a different favorite moment in the show from Twose — she favors the baby T-Rex named Tamora. “Tamora is really cheeky, really energetic and naughty,” Collins says. “She’ll be playing like a puppy but then remember she is a dinosaur and she can eat you if she wanted to.”
"Dinosaur World Live"
WHEN|WHERE 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville
INFO 516-299-3100, tillescenter.org