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Vincenzo and DM’s Review of One Man Lord of the Rings

Posted on 13 February 2012 by DM

DM’s Review: I can honestly say that I did not know what to expect when I sat down at the theater to watch One Man Lord of the Rings by Charles Ross.  Afterwards I did not know how I could have expected anything else.  Ross leapt right into the performance with manic energy not only mimicking character voices from the feature films but also sound effects with unnerving accuracy.

Portraying the three movies in one hour did not seem possible but Ross managed it with a bit of sweat and epic desert mouth with enough time to spare to chat with the audience between “films”.  Watching him oh so professionally change scenes with nothing but his voice, gestures, and a little bit of lighting change was nothing short of magical.

And he was funny.  So very funny.  I am quite certain that my abrasive and echoing laughter disturbed quite a few people but I could not help it in the face of his jester like performance.  Ross had no problems weaving humor into the oh so serious fantasy works while still maintaining what is an obvious admiration for the works.

Ross also had no problems pulling the audience to him. Laughter sprang out when his humor touched the work and people had trouble not interrupting his performance with applause at key moments such as when Gollum first spoke.

What can I say about One Man Lord of the Rings? It was unexpected.  It was funny.  It was magical. And I desperately need to see One Man Star Wars. See this in New York or elsewhere if you have the chance.

Vincenzo’s Review:

First I have to say sorry, this look me longer to write than it should have and is now not timely, I am sure DM will chew me out.

So last week a Groupon showed up and it was for Charlie Ross’s One Man Lord of the Rings, so I think to myself, well I’m not the biggest Rings person but I think to myself, well it would be cheaper than a movie and I can walk there. I went for the matinee, since well, its more convenient, and I don’t like staying up too late.

I will admit that I know that I didn’t get the most enjoyment out of the show as I could (I have vowed to watch the films on one day at some point (maybe Spring Break, yeah I’m a nerd)), so other than being able to tell you little about the quality of the jokes which seemed to be pretty good based on the audience reaction, the show was fantastic.

Ross’s energy was incredible, he made sure that each character had some defining feature, being it a voice or a gesture that allowed the audience to determine who was speaking. He had brief moments when he spoke and talked to the audience between movies to get a feel of the group (I wonder if he modifies the show when the audience is less nerdy). If you just enjoy LoTR, like I do, or are a devote Tolkien person, see this show if its in your area, and if One Man Star Wars is in my area I will see it.

For more information and future performance dates: Performances

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The Selfish Gene… The Musical?

Posted on 14 August 2011 by VinnieAve

When I saw news about Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene being turned into a musical I was a bit surprised. I will say this I haven’t seen the show but I hope some day it makes it to NYC even if its part of a small festival or something bigger, say the World Science Festival. The Selfish Gene is one of the great science books of the past century. The most important concept it promoted was the idea gene based evolution based on fitness. It is not the organism that wants to survive but its the genes that are trying to propagate and use organisms to do that. It was a very popular science book that many claimed effected government after its release in 1976. Dawkins makes great use of analogy and clever examples to explain the effects that this could have. I will say this book really has an effect on the way I think about evolution and adaptation. No more gushing over Dawkins.

Over in Scotland a musical has been made of this book. When I first saw this I was perplexed. How could you take essentially a text book and make it into a musical not only that but a character drama that teaches the principles of genes surviving and make a family show. The linked article has more details on the show. If this comes to NYC or Rutgers I will see it. I am willing to bet it will not win any Tony Awards but it should be fun. I also hope this musical is successful and by using the examples from the book, that people can be taught about the pressures on gene and how different survival strategies work. If ever these is a book club for All Geeks Considered the first book would be The Selfish Gene.

New Scientist Article

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