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lord of the rings - the musical!!!

Posted: March 16th, 2005, 11:58 am
by Glorious Amok
Lord of the Rings musical to rule Toronto stage News Staff

Frodo and his band of hobbits will take to the stage in Toronto next year, for the world premiere of a big-budget musical version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

An announcement is expected Wednesday, confirming that local theatre impresarios Ed and David Mirvish have secured the rights to debut the multimillion-dollar production on the Princess of Wales Theatre stage next March.

The announcement will be something of a coup for Canada, as it whisks the British production away from London's storied West End.

The stage version of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tale -- recently popularized by Peter Jackson's series of hit films -- has already undergone a four-year development period in Britain.

The three-act production is being directed by Briton Matthew Warchus, who rose to international prominence with the production Art, and features a cast of 50 and complex hydraulically-operated sets. The music is being written by Bollywood film composer A.R. Rahman, in conjunction with the Finnish group Varttina.

According to the show's producer, Briton Kevin Wallace, he turned to Toronto because there was no room for it in London.

All the theatres big enough to accommodate the show's elaborate sets and anticipated massive audiences are filled with hugely successful runs of such hit shows as Mary Poppins.

City officials have already welcomed word of the production's Canadian debut, as the anticipated tourist-draw of an indefinite run could provide a much-needed boost to local businesses.

Toronto's tourism industry has been struggling to bounce back since international headlines about the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) scared visitors away.

Since then, the city's theatre industry has seen dwindling audiences. Seats have proven so hard to fill, high-profile shows including The Producers and Hairspray closed much sooner than expected.

Toronto's theatre scene reached a popular peak in the 1990s, when The Phantom of The Opera ran for more than a decade.

With files from CTV News Toronto

Posted: March 16th, 2005, 12:27 pm
by judih
is Ed Mirvish still alive! What a guy

gotta go see that show

thanks, glorious a, for mentioning this