The Hobbit is a story of adventure and friendship, and this adaptation brings both of those alive. The play begins and ends with Bilbo Baggins sitting in his armchair sipping tea, and in between is the greatest reluctant adventure of his life. He risks his life for his new friends - the wizard Gandalf, and dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and his kin - while battling goblins, spiders, elves, and a big old mean dragon. It's the classic hero cycle, with a hero we can see ourselves in (who hasn't wished they were at home in their favorite chair drinking hot chocolate?!). In just two hours the play covers all of the major events of the book; just when you think they won't be able to fit it all in, they do. Not rushed, but not spending too much time on any one thing as we journey towards the Lonely Mountain (Peter Jackson* could learn a thing or two about endings and succinctness).
|the traveling party (photo by Dan Norman)|
(Dean Holt as Bilbo and Joy Dolo as Gollum, photo by Dan Norman)
|time for battle (photo by Dan Norman)|
Did I mention there's music? I wouldn't call this The Hobbit: The Musical! There are maybe a half dozen original songs, brought in at a few key moments to heighten the emotion of the scene, as music should be used. It feels more organic to the story than a dialogue-song-big finish-applause-repeat kind of traditional musical. Just two onstage musicians (CTC's resident Music Director Victor Zupanc on piano, etc., and Bill Olson on woodwinds) accompany the cast as they sing.
|stronger together (photo by Dan Norman)|
The merry, scary, inventive, and entertaining world of The Hobbit continues on the Children's Theatre stage through April 14. Isn't it time for an adventure?
*I jest, but I love Peter Jackson's adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy so much that I went to New Zealand. And talking about it just makes me want to binge watch all 12 glorious hours.