I have recieved an e-mail from Jim Shealy. He has seen The Hobbit production that we posted information about. Here is his review.
I was looking at the News section today and saw a posting from yesterday about the stage version of The Hobbit. I saw it when it was here (Washington, DC) and I cringed through most of it. I hate to say it, but the cartoon version is better. I took my 10 year old son (who had the book read to him when he was younger and has read it himself now) and my 6 year old nephew (who had no idea what a Hobbit was). Where my nephew was somewhat amazed, my son was pretty disappointed. I know you can only do so much visually on the stage but when you change the story around and have children playing Hobbits and Dwarves (my son was particularly aghast at the fact they had girls playing Thorin and Company) it tends to kill the experience.
Not to go on a rant, but here were my major problems with this production:
1. There’s a lot of musical numbers (worse than the cartoon).
2. The story has been altered. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go see it but the ending especially makes you wonder what they were thinking.
3. Gollum wasn’t portrayed very well in dialogue or costume. I had to tell my nephew and people around me that, no, he’s not a snake.
4. The worst part for me (and one of the reasons I wanted to see this) was Smaug. I know it’s only a play and not some big budget movie, but you only see his legs and they look like pillars. In fact that’s what Bilbo mistakes them for until Smaug speaks.
I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. The only way to sum it up is that it’s a “cutesy” play that parents go to see their kids that are in it. Maybe the production over in the UK will be better but it blew chunks here.
A letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to illustrator Doris Sykes will be sold by Hermitage Fine Art Monaco for £15,000 ($25,0000).