QUOTE(Blue @ Feb 13 2007, 07:52 AM)
On the subject of music
Has anyone actaully seen the Toronto production and what was the music like?
I heard its a bit like Enya (who I think is great)
I'm from Toronto (and am on my way to London next week to see a bunch of shows in the West End), and saw the Lord of the Rings.
The show received a mixed response and it will be interesting to see how they re-tool it for London. My pros/cons:
- by trying to put all three books into one show they bit off more than they could chew, galloping through the plot
- by trying to *not* make the show a "musical," but an almost Cirque du Soleil-like experience, they missed out on some of the strengths of musicals: songs, characters, dance, etc.
IMO, they should have followed Les Miserables, which is also based on an epic novel with many characters and lots of plot. The beauty of the musical is that you can have solos/soliloquays where each character can reveal themselves and tell their story (I Dreamed a Dream, Bring Him Home, Stars, On My Own, etc), thus allowing the audience to *care* about them. And unlike the movie version, where it is easy to distinguish between hobbits, on a massive stage, when you are sitting in row X, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippen all look the same. And without big solos it's difficult to distinguish their characters and, most importantly, *care* about their plight.
- the revolving stage and innumerable lifts. If people applauded the Les Miz barricades and the Phantom's chandelier, they should applaud the multiple lifts which are used amazingly in various fight scenes. That nobody tripped or got their costumes caught with dim lighting, smoke, rising and falling lifts while the stage is revolving---talk about choreography!
- there's a good group song and dance number at the Prancing Pony inn, with a sort-of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers exuberance.
- some other fun special effects and costumes (the big spider, with visible puppeteers; the Balrog, who breathes hot smoke over the audience).
As for the musical, it varies from the Prancing Pony frivolity (Seven Brides meets Oliver), to the Enya-like songs for Galadriel and the elves. But the show tries to be more about thematic music than songs, per se. Some interesting costumes, but not as well-integrated as The Lion King. There were no acting standouts (the usually good Brent Carver was downright disappointing as Gandalf... where's Ian McKellen when you need him?), although I liked the voice of Galadriel, but perhaps the London cast will do better.