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Prehistory in the making

Belber and his family loved the show -- "It really does leave you in awe," he said -- and he got excited about the prospect of bringing it to Albany.

When he did some research, though, he found that "Walking with Dinosaurs" tended to visit only larger cities.

But Belber had an idea. The management group he works for, SMG, also manages arenas in Rochester and in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. So he proposed guaranteeing "Walking with Dinosaurs" three shows at each venue.

Organizers liked the idea, and Belber is confident audiences will like the show, too.

"You're almost going back in time," he said.

The technology, though, is cutting edge. The large dinosaurs run on six roller blade wheels, and inside each is a team of three people: a driver and two puppeteers. One operates the head and tail, and the other is in charge of minor movements like opening and closing the mouth and blinking.

The smaller dinosaurs -- "the baby T-Rex and the raptor, things like that," Beavers said -- are called suit dinosaurs. There's just one person inside of those, manipulating the entire creature.

Adults are typically blown away by how realistic the dinosaurs are, Beavers said, while the younger set is fascinated by their sheer size.

"We say that our age range is from 3 to 93," she said. "I've worked on a lot of shows, and the difference with this one is everybody really does have a great time. Everybody loves it."

"Walking with Dinosaurs" will take over the Times Union Center at 7 p.m. on June 17, 18 and 19; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. on June 20; and 1 and 5 p.m. on June 21. Tickets are $21.50 to $71.50 and can be purchased by calling 800-303-8368 or visiting timesunioncenter-albany.com.""

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