Uniondale is Avengers headquarters when “Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes” comes to NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum for more than a week’s worth of shows.
Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, Black Panther and others join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to prevent Thor’s evil brother, Loki, from getting the Wand of Watoomb and controlling the universe.
“Everyone can get completely engaged in the storyline. It’s for audiences that range from a child to an adult,” says costume designer Mark Koss. “Young ones won’t get overwhelmed trying to follow the plot.”
Two Long Islanders feature prominently in the show. Dylan Libby, 24, of West Hempstead portrays Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Megan Johnston, 28, of East Northport swings between playing Guardians’ Gamora, her evil sister, Nebula, and an ensemble character. That means Johnston had to learn how to play both sides of an extended fight scene.
“There’s a lot of sister banter that goes back and forth,” she says. “We’ve gotten a bit sassy with it, throwing in eyeball rolls and hands on hips with each other like normal sisters would.”
Getting ready for the show called for three months of conditioning in boot camp and CrossFit classes. Johnson grew up training as a dancer at Anita’s Studio of Dance in East Northport.
“It helps to be a dancer because you are used to choreography and moving to music,” says Johnston.
Playing Nassau Coliseum is something she’s really looking forward to. “I grew up going to see ‘Disney on Ice’ there,” says Johnston. “Instead of my parents bringing me to see something, now they can come see me. It’s like a dream come true.”
Libby, meanwhile, plays Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, a crowd favorite character.
“He has such a heart and cares for the environment, which is something I can identify with,” Libby says. “When I’m inside the suit, I just feel so much love.”
To look the part, the 6-foot-3 Libby works on stilts built into his costume, raising him to a towering 9 feet, 2 inches.
“I can dance, jump, spin and hold one leg on the stilts,” he says. “They feel like they are a part of me.”
As a young man, Libby remembers going to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Coliseum and is honored to appear at the arena.
“It’s really humbling and rewarding,” he says. “I definitely feel a lot of pride as a Long Islander.”
Matt Daos, 22, of Las Vegas has been playing the Amazing Spider-Man since “Marvel Universe Live!” began in 2014, appearing in more than 800 shows.
“It’s an awesome feeling when I fly into the crowd and I can see the expressions on everyone’s face,” says Daos. “They pump me up. Every time I feel the audience, I go even harder.”
Watching Spidey battle Green Goblin in the air is one of the highlights in the show.
“Seeing that fight in the air right in front of you takes your breath away,” Koss says. “It brings a whole new edge and excitement to the story.”
MARVEL UNIVERSE LIVE! AGE OF HEROES
WHEN | WHERE March 22-April 1 at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum
INFO 516-231-4848, nycblive.com