One Man Lord of the Rings
This past Tuesday, the Snook and I went to the Opera House to see Charlie Ross perform his One Man Lord of the Rings. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I had a suspicion that it might be lame. The concept is that he acts out the entire trilogy playing all the characters with no props and no sets. (I’ve seen people do Shakespeare in a similar fashion, and that sucked.) Luckily my fears were unfounded and it was fantastic! He launched right in at like 100mph and barely slowed over the next 75 minutes. The show is very much based on the films, and a lot of the characterizations, jokes, and references that he does are specific to the movies. (There were a couple nerdy asides about the Silmarillion and Tom Bombadil though, which we appreciated.) During the flooding of Isengard, I was delighted to see him act out the Ent dousing his burning head in the water! That’s like my favorite little moment from the whole trilogy. Ross is a skilled mimic who brought to life characters and scenes in ways I didn’t expect. Sure, anybody can do a halfway decent Smeagol. But a totally realistic Treebeard complete with tromping-through-the-forest sound effects? Impressive. I also really liked his reduction of Denethor to a receding hairline and disgusting eating habits. Yeah, there was the obligatory “gay hobbits” joke, but on the plus side he left out Arwen entirely and majorly truncated the long, long endings. The audience had a great time and pretty much laughed throughout the whole show. At the conclusion, he sat down for a few minutes and told us the story of the production, including the “cease and desist” that put the show on hold for five years. Such a nice young Canadian gentleman! You should go see it if you can.