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Friday, February 03, 2006

LotR: The Musical

A stage setting of The Lord of the Rings will be premiering this March in Toronto. More stories can be found in the news archive of The Council of Elrond.

''[The story is] crying out for illusions, great dramatic, emotional scenes between strong characters. Spectacle. Transformations. Music. Action sequences… Aerial work, circus things, stilt walking. And I love all those things, and the idea that they could all coexist in one show is a very, very rare opportunity, and it's unusual for a piece of spectacle to have such a strong story, and vice versa. It's kind of the culmination of everything I'm interested in about theater, and it should be, if it works, a celebration of everything theater can do.''
- Matthew Warchus, director

The show is aspiring to be something like the Broadway Lion King, only bigger, if you can imagine. (I got to see that production last summer and it amazed me with its ingenuity and beauty, even though I had expected to hate it.) When I first heard about this thing, I rolled my eyes as disturbing visions of Legolas belting out the most irritating songs from Wicked pranced through my head - but now I'm thinking furtively of hitchhiking to Toronto. It sounds like it might turn out to be really cool - "circus things" and "stilt walking" aside. In any case, you can't deny that Tolkien was just asking for it when he said this:

"But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story....I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama." (Letters)

Tolkien called his dream "absurd," but it is becoming more and more real as time passes.

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