Theater review: Desert Star's 'Kicking the Hobbit' a hilarious hit
"Kicking the Hobbit: Bored of the Rings," Desert Star, through March 23, 801-266-2600 or www.desertstar.biz.
Desert Star's latest show, "Kicking the Hobbit: Bored of the Rings," tells the story of a "pasty-couch-potato-nerd-geek" named Walter who is taken on a magical journey through Middle Earth to get back his fiancee, Donnalea, after she dumps him for watching too much "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars."
True to Desert Star, the show has a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Chock-full of political puns and nerd humor, the show includes portrayals of three unexpected characters: Hillary Clinton, who is also Gollum; Ken Jennings, the famous "Jeopardy!" contestant; and Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Dog the Bounty Hunter and Sharon, who is a parody of Saruman from "The Lord of the Rings," are determined to stop Walter and his comrades, who include Princess Leia, Bilbo, Gandalf, Clinton and Jennings, from getting to the "City of the Rings."
Highlights of the show include Jennings' super-speed presentation on why "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" are the same story; numerous parodies of popular songs such as "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" and "Happy Together"; a sequence of "tree jokes" that number more than you can count on your fingers; and Princess Leia's mad dance moves.
Corey Brandenburger, who plays the protagonist, Walter, is the perfect fit for the role of the nerd-geek, which is evident from the moment he strides into the room singing a parody of the song "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music." A song between Princess Leia, played by Kerstin Davis, and Walter absolutely steals the show, especially Davis' singing and ostentatious dancing that will make you rock in your seat.
Lynnette Turner Parry, who plays Hillary Clinton and Gollum, does a great impression of both characters.
Dog the Bounty Hunter, played by Todd Thompson, and Sharon, played by George Anderson, make a great evil team, adding hilarity to the show as they scheme against the protagonist and his friends. Both Bilbo, played by Carli Christoffersen, and Gandalf, played by Bryan Matthew Hague, complete the show by taking lines from "Lord of the Rings" and timing them perfectly for hilarity.
The audience interaction and improvisation of the cast is especially great in this show.
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