I have just returned from seeing the musical stage-version of The Lord of the Rings at the Princess of Wales Theatre here in Toronto.
As a start, let me say I am not a theatre critic (though, granted I do see a lot of theatre), so do take this with a grain of salt. Secondly, I can best sum up my feelings on this production by noting I left at the 2nd intermission. Blee, G and Laura all stayed to the bitter end.
Okay, first the good:
- this production had – hands down – the most extravagant set and lighting I’ve ever seen. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The circular stage is jigsawed and does all sorts of fascinating things.
Now, the less than good:
- the songs I stayed to see had no connection to what was happening in the story or on the stage (the exception being the Prancing Pony song in Act 1 which was just perfect: great staging, good song, tied to what was happening);
- the songs, on the whole, are either bad New Age-music pieces or bad Enya ones;
- as to staging… if your idea of good theatre is watching people run around and around, go! You’ll love this show. Now, I know they are on a quest and all but that got a little tiresome about 1/4 of the way through;
- poor singers! Com’on folks, if you’re going to mount a musical production of LOTR, please – at a minimum – have performers who can sing! Enough said on that point I think; and,
- finally, I don’t know, I just found it soooooooooo boring to watch. Maybe because we’re all so familiar with the story now?