It is every fanboy’s dream incarnate. Frodo, Gandalf, Sam and J.R.R. Tolkien’s entire family of characters is a live, breathing, joke-cracking, wig-wearing cast in “Fellowship! The Musical Parody of The Fellowship of the Ring.” The key word for this interpretive production of the classic trilogy is parody, because if you think you know the story of the hobbits who made their way through the danger-infested forests, you’ve never seen it done like this.
Directed by Joel McCrary and music by Allen Simpson, “Fellowship!” goes where no hobbit has gone before. The time is unchanged, and the place remains Middle Earth. However, allusions to contemporary culture run rampant throughout the script.
The performances are taking place at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, a quaint arena that allows the audience and actors a degree of intimacy and mutual interaction. The actors, many of whom are trained comedians and some of the world’s best improvisers, let no opportunity pass without going for the laugh.
In this interpretation, Frodo and Sam are in love with each other, the Balrog (a fearsome creature of shadow and flame) performs a New York cabaret number in a sequined jumpsuit and the rightful heir of Gondor does a live guitar solo in a ’80s power ballad.
If you can’t follow the funny names and multiple species, even if you have never read or seen The Lord of the Rings, there are still guaranteed laughs in store for you. Granted, I realize it is ideal if you know the story and characters because self-professed Tolkien nerds wrote the play with fellow Rings fans in mind.
However, with 12 original, over-the-top songs as well as witty, pop culture-infused dialogue, the musical is a wild ride of fun for the entire family.
The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. For more information, visit falcontheatre.com.