If you’ve ever enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film, or watched any of them, or read the books – hopefully all of them – get yourself over to the SJ Repertory ASAP before you miss Charles Ross‘s current show. Yes, in one hour Ross re-enacts the entire trilogy including opening credits, theme music, and hobbits.
You may remember Ross from last summer when he visited San Jose with his One Man Star Wars show. I believe I compared it to “when your 8 year old nephew is on a sugar high and decides to act out a film (or 3) for you“. This summer, once again, the theater was packed with excited audience members of all ages bouncing in their seats and clapping gleefully as they experienced the entire LOTR trilogy in one hour. My guest is a fan of the films and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. Any show that leaves you with a huge smile on your face is a good one, I say.
Ross takes a quick water break between each of the 3 film re-enactments, and he questioned the audience regarding how many were actually familiar with the films, and cracked some jokes wondering why anyone would attend the show who had not seen the films. He makes a valid point because honestly there are two kinds of people in San Jose this weekend: those who have seen the LOTR films and MUST GO SEE THIS SHOW, and those who have not seen the films and should probably not see the show. There is no in between.
I enjoyed his Star Wars show more, but only because I am more familiar with that trilogy. I also think that the characters in Star Wars are much easier to differentiate when someone is acting them out: Chewbacca, C3PO, R2D2, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vader are all very distinct characters in voice and movement. With LOTR it was a little harder to know what was going on… unless you are quite familiar with the films. Gandalf and the Gollum are easy to pick out in Ross’s frenetic show, but a hobbit is a hobbit, and I really couldn’t figure much else out. On the other hand, my guest said she loved his depiction of Legolas (a character I never picked out in the show) so I still think it comes down to whether you’re a fan or not.
But like I said, there is no in between. If you are a fan of the films you simply MUST see the show, and you will have a fantastic time. If you’ve seen one or two films and/or read any of the books, you should still see the show and you will still love it. …if you’ve done neither, you’re just going to watch Charles Ross have a schizophrenic attack on stage for an hour. However if you fall in that category and your kids want you to take them… Do it. It’s an hour of hysterical fun for which your kids (or spouse) will love you.
One-Man Lord of the Rings ™
July 24 – 29, 2012
San Jose Repertory Theatre
written and performed by Charles Ross