Dinosaurs ruling in new musical
by Rick Mauch
 (Posted Sun 01:35 am) Hood County News
   As the sun goes down on a hilltop in Glen Rose, creatures of all  sorts come out.
   Some are large. Some are even larger.
   And all are fascinating.
   “Land of the Dinosaurs” made its debut Friday night at the Texas Amphitheater. And from the first roar of the 30-foot T-Rex to the growl-filled finale, it is something not to be missed.
   Billed as “the world’s best dinosaur musical,” the show has plenty of fascinating dinosaurs with music that is almost equally unforgettable.
  The animatronic dinos are, without question, the main attraction, and from the smallest to the tallest, they certainly do not disappoint. However, the soundtrack, written by Granbury’s Jay Clayton (who also wrote the script, directed the show and is in the cast), features a plethora of songs that will have folks humming long after the curtain call — which itself is one of the evening’s highlights, even though I didn’t want the show to be over.
   The rockin’ “Fire Down Below,” has become something of the show’s anthem. The moods of the songs range from the melancholy “Photographs That I Recall” to the seriousness of “Dark Side of the City” to the calypso sound of “Life Happens.” In each song is a message of some sort as well, be it one of love, as in “Stuck Here in Time,” or one of determination in “Get Out and Get Things Done.”
   But the thing that determines whether a musical is something worth remembering and seeing again is the story around the music. LOTD passes the test, even though the story is anything but original.
   The show borrows a little from “Land of the Lost,” “Jurassic Park” and even “Swiss Family Robinson.” The story of going back in time with
prehistoric creatures — in this case an entire family making the journey — never grows old, especially when combined with some really
kicking music.
   Don’t expect dialogue befitting an Algonquin round table. There are no memorable quotes, but as a whole the script avoids being just words to fill a void between the next song or dino entrance.
   The show’s pace is consistently smooth, thanks largely to the chemistry of the cast that ranges in age from pre-teens to middle-aged
   But make no mistake, the dinosaurs are the stars of the show. When those bad boys make their entrance — most notably the giant T-Rex,
they are eye magnets.
   All ages will find the show enjoyable, but it’s fun to hear the comments from the kids. One little boy, upon hearing a noise from
offstage, shouted out during a blackout, “A dinosaur!”
   The experience involves more than the show itself. There’s also a coloring contest for the kids, along with a dino lecture, complete with
an animatronic T-Rex. Folks can also have their photo taken next to the big guy.
   And for those curious about how it all comes together each night, a backstage tour is available. It rounds out a great experience.
Land of the Dinosaurs
Where: Texas Amphitheater, Glen Rose
Dates: Now through Aug. 21
Showtimes: 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday
Tickets: Adults $20-$24, students $18-$20, seniors $18-$20, children $15-$18.
Contact: http://www.landofthedinosaurs.com or 877-DINOLAND (346-6526)