SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Gollum, Gandalf, Frodo Baggins and the rest of the “Lord of the Rings” crew will come to life in San Jose in a one-man adaptation of the fantasy tale, July 24 – 29.
Charles Ross will be performing his One-Man Lord of the Rings show at the San Jose Repertory Theatre in seven showings between Tuesday and Sunday. The performance, which covers the entire trilogy, is 70 minutes long.
The 38-year-old Canadian performer, who was also in the Silicon Valley last year for a run of his One-Man Star Wars trilogy, is eager to return to “Nerd Valley,” as he calls it, where he says there are both visible and hidden contingents of “geeks.”
The solo performer doesn’t define himself as a nerd or geek, but said, “I think I was born very strange … that was helpful in the long run.”
He said he has spent the past 12 years touring the globe performing his one-man Star Wars and Lord of the Rings shows without costumes, sets or props –not even a ring.
“It’s just me getting of the plane,” he said, calling his shows “exceptionally portable.”
After his successful adaptation of “Star Wars,” Ross took on the Rings trilogy in 2004, and the filmmakers granted him the right to perform it in 2009.
“It’s almost like watching an 8-year-old kid playact something they care about greatly,” he said.
He said his upbringing on a remote farm helps him relate to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that his travels have taken him everywhere from New Zealand to Duluth, Minn., where he was performing last week before heading to the Bay Area.
The one-man trilogy begins with an ordinary hobbit who is catapulted into an adventure through a mythical land, full of fire-breathing dragons and strange creatures.
“I love the fact that it seems to promise if you come from a marginalized background, adventure will find you,” he said.
Adventure has found Ross, who was able to connect and email with actor Ian McKellan, who plays the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s film series. McKellan has come to see the show, he said.
Ross’ show is complete with varied voices to distinguish characters, some of which Ross admits he doesn’t pull off perfectly, but the audience is able to enjoy a retelling of a story that they already know in a wholly new form.
“The way I’m telling it is absurd,” the actor said.
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