I can’t imagine sitting through this!

Mixed reviews for ‘Lord of the Rings’ musical
The $28-million Lord of the Rings musical, which opened in Toronto Thursday night, earned praise from one important audience member ñ the granddaughter of author J.R.R. Tolkien.
“It√≠s very beautifully done,” said Rachel Tolkien, 35, who ventured from France to attend the show√≠s debut at the Princess of Wales theatre. “Everything that, to me, is the most important and most moving in the books is on the stage.”
The three-and-a-half hour show, with two short intermissions, got a long standing ovation as the cast of almost 60, the producers, composers and British director Matthew Warchus took their bows.
The showís technical wizardry ó with 17 movable elevators ó got a big thumbs up from many critics but many of them gave the show a tepid review.
“Why we√≠re left bored of the Rings” was the headline in Friday√≠s Toronto Star. While reviewer Richard Ouzounian praised the “endless visuals” and special effects, he said the actors wind up like “pawns in a giant rapid-fire chess game.”
Ouzounian criticized the showís director for leaving the audience with a show that was neither a play nor a musical. So much is packed into it, that character development suffers, he said.
Like many critics, he praised actor Michael Therriault ó who recently played Tommy Douglas on CBCís biopic and also starred in The Producers as Leo Bloom ó for his gripping scenes as Gollum.
Charles Spencer of The Telegraph in Britain characterized the show as “weary” and concluded there was “nothing here to rival the imaginative visual coups and heart-tugging emotion of such great family shows as Billy Elliot, The Lion King and Mary Poppins.”
The music, a mixture of folk, mystic sounds and eastern chants composed by Finland√≠s V‚Ä∞rttin‚Ä∞ and India√≠s A.R. Rahman, was engaging, Spencer said. But key moments, such as fight scenes, were lacklustre, he wrote, saying “jaw-dropping coups de th√à‚Äötre are in short supply.”
Spencer also wondered why Canadian stage and film veteran Brent Carver seemed to lack the charisma needed to bring the wizard Gandalf to life.
The Associated Press critic called Carver√≠s Gandalf a “washed-out wizard” and concluded the musical was a flattened adaptation of the trilogy with “moments of satisfying spectacle and elegant design.”
Brent Brantley of the New York Times said he felt lost while watching the show, deeming it “incomprehensible.” It felt like a very long high school drill team competition, he said. He was less than engaged with the music which he termed “Enya meets ashram.”
Brantley extolled the talents of the “scenery-chewing” Therriault as Gollum and Evan Buliung as Aragorn.
The Lord of the Rings is playing at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.