Immersive The Lord of the Rings Musical To Make US Premiere | Playbill

Regional News Immersive The Lord of the Rings Musical To Make US Premiere

The production will feature an ensemble cast and large-scale puppets.

Nuwan Hugh Perera and Louis Maskell in The Lord of the Rings Pamela Raith

A new production of the 2006 stage musical The Lord of the Rings is coming to the US. Adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, Paul Hart's production will be presented in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater this summer from July 19 to September 1.

This staging premiered at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre last summer, where it sold out its 12-week run. This version, retold from the perspective of the Hobbits, will open the inaugural season of the Chicago company's new Artistic Director Ed Hall and Executive Director Kimberly Motes.

The immersive staging is directed by Paul Hart with design by Simon Kenny. Set on Bilbo Baggins' eleventy-first birthday when Bilbo gives Frodo a gold ring, the musical follows Frodo on the daunting and perilous task of journeying across Middle Earth to save them all from the Dark Lord Sauron. Audiences then join an ensemble cast and large-scale puppets on the story about the power of friendship and the common good.

The musical adaptation features a book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus. Music is by A.R. Rahman (Bombay Dreams, Slumdog Millionaire), Värttinä, and Tony winner and Grammy nominee Christopher Nightingale (Matilda the Musical).

The Lord of the Rings originally made its premiere in 2006 at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre. Conceived as a three-and-a-half-hour-long production, the three-act work was mounted with a cast of 65 actors. It subsequently transferred to the West End the following year, and then closed in 2008 as one of the biggest commercial failures in West End history at the time. A revival was announced in 2015 for a world tour which ultimately never materialized.


Photos: The Watermill Theatre's The Lord of the Rings

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