Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark may have broken the hearts of superhero-loving theater goers with its uninspired take on New York's webslinging photographer, but American audiences are in for a delightfully insane consolation prize. Batman Live, the live-action stage show that's been touring arenas in Latin America, Europe and the United Kingdom, is finally making its North American debut, with a full complement of Bat-foes, and effects that dazzle the eyes rather than maim the actors.Granted, Batman Live may not have songs by U2's Bono and the Edge (or songs at all), but based on what we've seen so far, what the show lacks in musical pedigree it makes up for in giant Joker heads with teeth made of people, neon bo staff battles, shiny costumes and a sleek Batmobile. Although the creators promise this isn't an Ice Capade experience, Batman Live is aimed at an all-ages audience, with a tone closer to Tim Burton than Christopher Nolan. Producer Nick Grace explains that the show combines live stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video sequences to create his Batman extravaganza:

This is not a musical but a live show with a thrilling Batman story, filled with action that appeals to adults, teenagers, kids and families. We are proud to have this opportunity to bring to life the story of one of the most popular DC Super Heroes in the world today.

The show features an original storyline with Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred battling Gotham rogue favorites the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Two-Face and more. And because the show is staged in arenas rather than theaters, we get a three-dimensional Gotham City stage.

Batman Live will make its US debut on September 5th, 2012, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, before moving on to St Paul, San Jose, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Rio Rancho, Colorado Springs and Loveland. You can see the full calendar at the Batman Live website.

And until you can get your butt into an arena seat and experience the lunacy first-hand, I leave you with this image of the Joker in his Joker balloon:

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