J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is an epic tale of adventure and intrigue. Greg Banks, playwright and director based out of the UK, has adapted the play for the stage and in doing so distilled this sweeping saga into a personal journey of courage and heroism. This season has been a literary one at Children’s Theatre Company, and again it brings to life on their UnitedHealth Stage another favorite classic with this World Premiere Production.
CTC provided two tickets for FFTC to use to review the show.
All opinions are our own.
Invited on an adventure, our hero, Bilbo Baggins feels unsure.
Actually, that is not entirely correct. He knows exactly how he feels about it.
He doesn’t want to go.
But even so, he is needed. And Bilbo makes the decision to go.
I took my 13 (almost 14 year old) to this performance. I required her to read The Hobbit as part of school this year, so when our team was invited to review it, I was pretty excited to take her. We were not disappointed.
This show is INCREDIBLE! With only 5 cast members, this story incorporates the whole theater including the audience. It begins with Bilbo (played by Dean Holt–captivating performance for sure) having us over for a cup of tea and he entertains us with the story of his big adventure. The entire experience draws you into the story.
With a few props, a resourceful set and lighting, the perfect musical underscore and songs, and the use of our imagination, we are able to watch the characters traipse through Mirkwood Forest, crawl through the tunnels under the mountain, ride ponies, and fly with the eagles. Characters transform from dwarves into goblins and wolves, elves, trolls, a wizard, a dragon, Gollum, and a spider. The spider, incidentally, was my absolute favorite character. We giggled about that character after the show was over.
Reed Sigmund is a master in his portrayal of Thorin, Dwarf King Under the Mountain. At first, I was a little taken aback by Thorin’s abrupt harshness and all I could think was, “But this is the lovable Grinch and Shrek….” After he conceded to Gandalf that Bilbo could come on the adventure, I fell for Thorin–hook, line, and sinker.
Dean Holt is the loveable Hobbit from the Shire. He perfectly whiny and perfectly nervous. Throughout the show, he narrates what was happening as he was ducking and weaving, running, and crawling through holes. Not once is he winded. I love watching Dean Holt. He brings delight to every show he is in.
Joy Dolo, Becca Hart, H. Adam Harris are beyond talented. Beautiful singing voices and speaking styles accomplish the embodiment of the many charactersportrayed. I can’t wait to watch more shows with them. Especially Becca since this was her first appearance at CTC. Adam and Joy are quickly becoming some of my favorites to watch on stage!
About The Hobbit
Our unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, would much rather be sitting in his cozy Hobbit Hole with a cup of tea and a plate of bacon and eggs. However, he somehow finds himself on a magically mystical adventure. Staged with speed and surprises, you’ll be delighted as things change before your very eyes. Discover what happens as Bilbo travels on an epic journey over freezing mountains and a frightening forest, meeting all sorts of fierce creatures—some who want to eat him, others who turn into dear friends.
“The Hobbit is about finding the love of adventure and the hero within yourself,” stated CTC Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. “We see what it means for Bilbo Baggins to go from a nice quiet comfortable life to finding that courage to lead an expedition to fight a dragon and restore what is rightfully another’s. Equally critical is learning how once you have won that fight and recaptured the treasure to have greed and selfishness take over. It asks us what it means to be true to our core values.”
Performance Dates: March 11, 2019-April 14, 2019
Parental Guidance for The Hobbit
A Children’s Theatre Company World Premiere Production
For adventurous 8-year-olds and up
Personally, I would shoot for age 10 or 11. Journey stories may feel slow to some kids. It wasn’t slow-moving, especially if you compare it with the pace of the book, but younger kids may not appreciate this style of story-telling. With a lot of loud sound effects and intense lighting (and darkness) effects, this could be pretty scary. However, I know lots of kids who at age 6 would have been enthralled with this production. You know your kids. If they are not easily startled, this would be a fun show for them.
Final Thoughts on The Hobbit
The UnitedHealth Stage transforms into Middle Earth with Bilbo’s storytelling, the cast’s skillful performance, and music that takes the show to a whole new level.
This is a production you won’t want to miss. Make sure you wear your elf ears since you will be involved in the show.
*All images by Dan Norman (who incidentally I went to high school with!)