Variety reports that Rings, originally announced for a West End bow, will open at the Princess of Wales Theater March 23, 2006. Previews are expected to begin Feb. 2. Matthew Warchus, who directed the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, will helm the production, which will feature a 65-member Canadian cast.
About the upcoming musical, director Warchus told the Toronto Star, "We have not attempted to pull the novel towards the standard conventions of musical theatre, but rather to expand those conventions so that they will accommodate Tolkien's material. As a result, we will be presenting a hybrid of text, physical theatre, music and spectacle never previously seen on this scale."
The Lord of the Rings will feature music by the Finnish group Värttinä and Bombay Dreams' A. R. Rahman with book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna. Rob Howell will design both the costumes and the sets for the musical. The sets, according to Variety, will feature "three interconnected turntables containing 16 elevators."
Producers are Kevin Wallace, Saul Zaentz, Canucks David, Ed Mirvish and Michael Cohl.
The film version of Tolkien's trilogy — directed by Peter Jackson — has grossed more than three billion dollars worldwide. The final part of the trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.