After work (March 22), I went with Anna to see the world premiere of "The Lord of the Rings" production at Princess of Wales Theatre. We brought $50 discount tickets (originial price is $120) and were sitting in the left side of the Orchestra level. :D The show started at 7pm and ended around 10:50pm with 2 intermission in between.
Overall, the show is great. I would give 4.5 out of 5 stars to this show. :) It has so many stage effects that I can not count. The lighting effect is excellent. The circular stage is like a puzzle and each puzzle piece can rise up to different levels to represent hills, castles, tunnels, etc.
Some of the scenes are execellent:
- The scene where Gandalf fights against a creature (dragon?) and dies... Originally, I think we will see Gandalf pretending to fight and dies and that's it. However, we do see the dragon. Combining sound effect, red lighting effect, and wind effect, the dragon seems very real.
- The scene where the Fellowship climbs blind-folded on a ladder going to the Elvish haven of Lothlorien (to see the Lady of Golden Wood). It really does look like the Fellowship is climbing up very high to the top of the trees.
- The scene where Frodo and Sam fight against a big sprider... The sprider is controlled by a couple of people (in black). The movements of the sprider are very real.
- Smeagol is amazing. His movements are exactly like the Smeagol in movies.
- There are many more great scenes...
If the show is so great, why don't I give 5 stars? Well... First of all, the songs are ok but not great. Many of the songs are similar. There is no one song that I really like. I guess I can't ask for too much since this show is a movie adaptation and not a musical.
Secondly, the main actors are not handsome and the main actresses are not pretty. Legolas (the archery guy) is handsome in the movies. However, this Legolas is only ok looking. Arwen (Aragorn's lover) is very pretty in the movies. However, this Arwen is a fat version. Aragon looks ok because his face is covered with beard.
Lastly, there are some boring scenes in the show (e.g. Galadriel singing about the mystical beauty of Lothlorien). I guess this is ok since this show has to follow the movies.
This show is a big production. In some scenes (e.g. singing in the Prancing Pony Inn), there are at least 40-50 people dancing together. I've never seen a production with so many performers.
Since I've watched the 3 Lord of the Rings movies a long time ago, I don't remember all the details, so I cannot do a story comparison between the movies and this show.
In Conclusion, this show definitely worths $60 ($50 + tax + service charge)... ;)