Charles Ross gained international fame with his One Man Star Wars Trilogy, and now he’s back with a 65-minute adaptation of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Make sense? One Man Lord of the Rings is a dynamic, hilarious distillation of the films – in all their extended DVD glory – and is a must see this summer. Directed by T.J. Dawe, the show is playing at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and runs through August 1.
Ross, dressed in a black jumpsuit and sneakers, performed his one-man act on a completely bare stage. Throwing himself energetically into character after character, plot turn after plot turn, and providing sound effects along the way, Ross was amazing. He nailed the mannerisms of everyone – from Frodo to Gandalf to Arwen to Legolas to the Orcs to Treebeard and more.
Hard-core Tolkien fans will appreciate Ross’ literary asides that reference parts of the books that never made it into the movies, including a shout-out to the Silmarillion, Tolkien’s extensive history of the First Age of Middle Earth. While it isn’t necessary for you to have read the books to enjoy Ross’ performance, it will help if you’ve seen the movies. Ross moves quickly from scene to scene and many of the funniest moments are his interpretations and references to the film’s actors and actresses.
Woolly Mammoth continues to be my go-to theatre for unique, progressive theatre that always amazes and entertains. One Man Lord of the Rings is no exception. For more information and tickets, visit their website.