Just got back from Lord of the Rings, the show which is meant to save commercial theatre in Toronto. The verdict: it’s really, really good. Critical response was lukewarm at best; I’m here to report that the critics are, as usual, full of shit. I’m not a fan of Lord of the Rings in general; I haven’t got past the fourth page of J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel, and consider at least two of Peter Jackson’s movies to be utter crap (man, I can’t wait for the comments that statement generates). So I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect of sitting through a four-hour stage adapation. In actuality, not being a fan of the show’s source material probably worked to my advantage: instead of sitting there analyzing what was different, I simply sat there watching it unfold. The staging is out-of-this-world; seriously, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The cast, meanwhile, is excellent. Brent Carver, whose Gandalf has been much-maligned, is actually really good, but the real star is Michel Terriault, who inhabits Gollum so completely he eventually takes over the entire show.
J-What–easily the biggest Lord of the Rings fan I know–is seeing the show tomorrow. Jeff? Consider this to be your official call-out to write a 5,000-word exegesis on Lord of the Rings, the stage production, with a particular focus on how it differs from other versions of the story. We both know it’s coming…now you know I’m waiting for it.