The Children’s Theatre of Charleston is doing a musical based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Directed by Tim Mace and music by Mark Scarpelli. I do not know about Mace, but I have heard several of Scarpelli’s work and can tell you that he always does a good job.
The play stars 40 children between ages 6 to 14. The only adults are in the orchestra and two who switch off doing the voice of Smaug. Though only a few had read the books, they were familiar with the movies, several have picked up the books to read since starting the play.
The play is a faithful adaption of the book without dumbing it down for kids. The production is the only stage script and music score approved by Tolkien himself and contains 15 musical pieces performed by live orchestra set up. The show is 90 minutes with two acts.
They have already done a school performances in the afternoon on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You can catch the public shows on Friday March 8 at 7pm, Saturday March 9 at 2pm and 7pm, Sunday March 10 at 2pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children between the ages of 4 and 17. The shows are at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre. You can pick up tickets at the door or order at the Civic Center Box Office (304) 346-0164.
For those who do not know, the story of The Hobbit goes a little like this:
The reluctant Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins is asked to join twelve dwarves to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug, for they can hardly hope to succeed as an unlucky thirteen. Bilbo finally agrees to the adventure! They encounter dangerous trolls, escape into Goblin country where Bilbo finds a gold ring with magical power. It’s a ring of invisibility. Bilbo is cautious and thoughtful but saves them in every crisis, even in the climactic scene with the dragon Smaug.
Children’s Theatre of Charleston gives children and families the opportunity to share the total theatre experience.
Every season, CTOC performs a series of shows for the general public and for audiences of school children and groups, who take a break in their day to experience the magic of live theatre. Giving children and families the opportunity to share the total theatre experience, CTOC is open to all children, regardless of age, race, religion, or nationality. All West Virginia children may participate as long as they meet the requirement of attendance.