Well, Toronto's Hair revival just got one less star than the Hobbits from Richard Ouzounian in a scathing review the Toronto Star. Two minus one = one. I don't know if they ever give zero.
Say what you will, the opening night crowd was really into the show. The Boomer ladies around me were psyched, dancing in their seats and singing along on occasion. The standing ovation at the end seemed genuine, rather than obligatory. People actually jumped up.
I suppose it's all in expectations. I went in expecting something ridiculous and got just that. Ouzounian remembers the original 1960s production and apparently it was excellent and, you know, relevant. So he was disappointed. But I wonder if it really was as he remembers it. After all, if you can remember the Sixties, weren't you not really there?
Meanwhile, it seems like the Lord of the Rings producers should count their blessings that the high-tech stage effects didn't break down at either of the press previews or on opening night. A Tolkien Head fan went on Wednesday night and, he reports, they had to skip over the Battle of Helm's Deep again.
When we were called back into the theater soon thereafter, the voice of God thanked us for our patience and audaciously said "I'm afraid you will have to take my word" that Gandalf had returned and that, with his aid, the battle of Helm's Deep had been won by Theoden's army (I don't think he even spelled it out so clearly, which must have left Tolkien virgins in a daze -- though the confusing Khazad-Dum scene probably already did the job, as would the even more confusing destruction of the Ring).I suspect this kind of news, circulating on the biggest LOTR fansite, with the show a week out of previews, is more damaging than any number of negative reviews...