Tolkien & The Musical Hobbits

The sister just brought this article to my attention, published in today’s Toronto Star

Tolkien musical is Mirvishes’ quest
Production to cost $27 million
Toronto show will be world premier

One ring to rule them all â?? and it’s starting here in Toronto. David and Ed Mirvish are expected to announce at a news conference tomorrow morning they will be joining forces with producers Kevin Wallace, Saul Zaentz and Michael Cohl to present the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings, the $27 million stage musical based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s world-famous trilogy. The plan is to open the show at the Princess of Wales Theatre with an all-Canadian cast on March 23, 2006. It is assumed the show’s final destination will be London’s West End, where it has been touted over the past two years as the production that would prove to be the most expensive and elaborate show ever seen in England…..

….A wildly eclectic creative team has come together to create its vision of a world with singing Hobbits and elves.The book and lyrics are by British playwright Shaun McKenna, who conceived the project. His musical partners include the popular Indian composer A.R. Rahman (best known here for his score for Bombay Dreams) and the contemporary Finnish group Värttinä, made up of six acoustic musicians and three female vocalists.Director Matthew Warchus is a two-time Tony nominee, who directed both the London and Broadway productions of the smash hit Art and has a unique vision of the show.
“We have not attempted to pull the novel towards the standard conventions of musical theatre, but rather to expand those conventions so that they will accommodate Tolkien’s material. As a result, we will be presenting a hybrid of text, physical theatre, music and spectacle never previously seen on this scale.” [complete article]

Confession time, I have never been to a stage production nor in my long list of “things to do before I wither away and die” did I envision “musical theater” to be anywhere in the top 100, but being the Tolkien fan I am, I find it is slowley creeping up the rankings. Dancing hobbits in the shire? Perhaps a Gandalf and Sarauman musical showdown featuring the stylings of cirque du soleil acrobatics? I’m lovin it.

But I wonder if the stage is big enough to hold all of middle earth. hmm.

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