The gnarled forests of Middle Earth thrust out to embrace the audience. The automated, cantilevered stage turns, twists, rises, falls and tilts in myriad and extraordinary ways -- at one moment, a winding forest path, the next, a soaring battlefield promontory, while wind and smoke swirl through the auditorium. Menacing orcs leap and tumble like pre-historic Raptors. A dozen Ents --14-feet-high humanoid trees (actors on stilts) -- conduct a council of the forest. The music -- jointly composed by the Finnish folk ensemble Varttina and India's A.R. Rahman -- owes more to opera than musical theatre, an almost continuous score that includes lush ballads, a rollicking drinking number (at the Prancing Pony Inn), a powerful anthem song, as well as the stirring, discordant strains of the battlefield.As a man who seriously considered just catching a flight to New Zealand trying to get work on the film trilogy in any way possible, I am seriously geeking out with excitement here.
Monday, February 06, 2006
"Lord of the Rings" in Toronto -- Early Buzz Good
The Globe and Mail was at the first previews. Technical glitches, long breaks, 5 hours long (including extended breaks) and it all sounds promising.