Last night my husband and I attended Charles Ross' show, "One-Man Lord of the Rings" - an intense, energetic, mind-warping adventure through the full Lord of the Rings trilogy now playing at The San Jose Repertory Theatre.
Last year we saw Ross' "One-Man Star Wars", (actually, our second time seeing it), and loved it and were excited to hear he had another show and would possibly be coming back to San Jose to perform it.
So... before I get into any kind of review, I have to admit something. I haven't seen all three movies from beginning to end. I've seen the first movie and bits and pieces of the rest. I am familiar with key aspects, characters, names, and plots. I was a wee ashamed of this as the show began, however after the first movie, Ross did a quick poll of the audience:
- Who has seen all three movies? (Applause! Excitement!)
- Who has seen all three extended edition movies? (Hardly could tell, but slightly less and yet still excited applause!)
- Who has seen all three extended movies in one day? (A much smaller collection of enthusiastic fans including my husband, applauded, hands above head. Pride, baby.)
- Who has read the books? (Lots of applause!)
- Who has not seen the movies? (Clap clap clap… laughter.)
- Who has not read the books or seen the movie? (Someone clapped, lots of laughter.)
After the last question, Ross joked saying he didn't know what that person was going to get out of the show. "It's like trying to teach my cat checkers." (*giggle*)
Anyway, because of that poll I felt a wee bit better. And, mind you, earlier in the day my husband, Adam, gave me a complete rundown of the trilogy/story and that HELPED A LOT.
That said, because this show is much different than others I've reviewed before (one actor, no set, not a musical, no costumes..etc) I'm going to interview my husband to get his take on the show.
His "credentials"? He's a huge fan of LOTR; he's read the books, watched the movies endless times, AND attended the all-day theatre screening of all extended versions of the movie. Also, as Ross' show was going on, I'd glance over at Adam and he was in full crazy laughter mode. This show was soooo for him.
Q: What are some points of the show you found particularly entertaining?
A: His breaks of the 4th wall were very funny and I liked his mentioning of changing the discs in each movie. His interpretation of Legolas was the funniest (brushing long hair, pinning hair up, blow-drying hair.) His depiction of Denethor (extended eating scene) was hilarious and he had a few impression/mentions of other pop culture movies that was a great touch.
Q: Best geeky moment during this show?
A: It was awesome that he paid tribute to the fanboys of the series by mentioning Tom Bombadil and The Silmarillion. ("Google it.")
Q: Is there anything you didn't like or found difficult to understand about the show?
A: The large scale battle scenes were difficult to follow even for someone who has seen all of the movies multiple times because he was doing the sound effects as well as the voices. (Jen's note: Yet, it's clear how insanely talented Ross is by being able to jump from one sound effect to the next!)
Q: Final thoughts on the show?
A: It was a very funny and entertaining representation of all three movies. Although to fully appreciate and follow along with the shows, I think one must have seen the extended versions of the DVD's.
So there you go! I really enjoyed the show and was laughing throughout the entire thing. Charles Ross performs as 42 characters (42!) in a 60-minute show. Insanity!
Oh and get this - he performed it infront of Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf) and he loved it!
Grab your tickets FAST as there are only SIX shows left!
San Jose Repertory Theatre
Wednesday, July 25: 7:30pm
Thursday, July 26: 8:00pm
Friday, July 27: 8:00pm
Saturday, July 28: 3:00pm
Saturday, July 28: 8:00pm
Sunday, July 29: 2:00pm