Sorry I haven't been updating... been working on photos instead! *S*
I'm lucky: not only it Tig here, but a couple of friends I met at the Pittsburgh Symphony production of LOTR (where Billy Boyd sang) who live in Toronto are here - Bernadette and Rhonda. Plus, they have a couple of friends from Cincinnati, Pat and Penny. So, I ran into Bernadette and Rhonda on Saturday, got some lunch (yes, I slept late as usual!), and went to the centerpiece panel, which was several people and how Tolkien inspired them. Great guys - actors, artists, scholars - and I'll talk more about it when I show the photos. Lots of pics of Craig and Bruce, of course, but also a couple of nerdycute guys. *G*. Later I ran into Bernadette, Rhonda, Pat and Penny at dinner, and had a great time. There was a picnic scheduled that night, but I'd stayed in the room working on pics, and it ended up getting pretty rained out. Sunday I went to get photos of Bruce and Craig with Merry and Pippin, during their signings, then went to a great "The Silmarillion for Dummies", and then... "The Lord of the Rings" - the musical!!!
I went in with low expectations, but I was really impressed. Great set to begin with - crisscrossing branches, all around a gold circle, forest glade light over the whole thing. Then you see the hobbits - and they're Tolkien hobbits - happy, curly hair, down to earth, padding about the stomaches and rear ends, dancing. The whole thing was truly based on the book. Frodo was a bit older and not doe-faced, with a country accent, so you really got the impression that he, along with the other hobbits, didn't belong in any epic; yet you also got depth of feelings later with Sam and Frodo facing the difficulties. Frodo and Sam were excellent. Merry and Pippin were country bumpkins with heart. Sam was down to earth, and did have a rather large stomach and rear, but not so "fat" in the face. Anyway, between excellent characterizations, trueness to the books, and a great use of songs and dancing, as well as effective imaginative "special effects" (Shelob, orcs, Black Riders, the Ents), the story moved along - and moved me. It really got back to the storytelling, and the heart of it all.
Of course, parts had to be cut out - but it was done so well! And other parts were there that we missed. For example, they had Frodo singing "The Cow Jumped Over The Moon" and it turned into a "dance-off" between the hobbits and Bree-folk, ala "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"; it was such fun to watch, with such spirit! As to cutting things out, they very cleverly took the Black Riders coming to Bree - and had them attack Frodo there, when he had the Ring on (after accidentally putting it on while singing the song, just as in the book), with Strider coming in to protect him. Then they were off to Rivendell to get Frodo cured. And it worked! They also pretty much cut out Gondor, so there were only 2 big battles: Rohan, and at the gates of Mordor. So it's before the gates of Mordor that Eowyn (yes, they keep her in - briefly) attacks the Witch King. And... they have the Scouring of the Shire! (yay!) And, again, Frodo and Sam were done so well. They had a walking along (ala "The Road Goes Ever On", but much catchier and better for walking), and a thoughtful song while in Mordor based on the line about "will we ever be in a story" that Sam uses to cheer up Frodo. About the only things I was disappointed in were Gandalf (too "actorly" of a portrayal) and Lothlorien (looked more like an ice palace than a shady grove! *G*). But everything else was so well done. Remember, this is closing in September - so try to see it if you can!!!!
I stayed at the Stage Door for autographs but there are so many actors, and I couldn't tell who was who, and they were just walking by me, so I gave into my stomach and got food. *G* Went to the VIP reception later and got more photos of Craig and Bruce, and saw Tig and Bernadette and Rhonda. Tig and I were going to go to Niagara Falls today, but she's gotten sick, poor thing, so we just took it easy this morning, and I'll go to some sessions this afternoon, and then to the banquet/masquerade tonight.
Expect photos in the future!