THE LORD OF THE RINGS - A MUSICAL TALE to Transfer to New Zealand This Fall

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand.

By: Jul. 09, 2024
THE LORD OF THE RINGS - A MUSICAL TALE to Transfer to New Zealand This Fall
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Chicago Shakespeare Theater's upcoming production of The Lord of the Rings – A Musical Tale will transfer this fall to The Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, beginning November 5. Ever since the release of Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, New Zealand has become the embodiment of Middle-earth, making the production’s journey to Auckland a homecoming for the story. This engagement follows a highly anticipated US premiere at CST this summer, directed by Paul Hart and running July 19‑September 1, 2024 in The Yard.

“We’re thrilled that Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Lord of The Rings will continue its journey in Auckland,” said Artistic Director Edward Hall. “The Chicago-based ensemble that Paul and our team have put together promises to take us on an extraordinary adventure through Middle-earth, and we look forward to sharing their incredible work with audiences in New Zealand.”

Annie Dundas, Director Destination at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, shared, “This production not only celebrates our unique connection to Middle‑earth but also showcases Auckland as a vibrant hub for world-class theatre. We look forward to sharing this extraordinary experience with locals and visitors alike.” Glen Crighton, Acting Director Performing Arts at Auckland Live, continues, “I’m excited that The Civic will be hosting the Australasian premiere of The Lord of the Rings – A Musical Tale. The iconic status of Tolkien’s epic tale can’t be understated, and we look forward to welcoming local and international audiences alike into Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s own iconic venue to embark on what promises to be a remarkable theatrical experience.”

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy, with book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna (Maddie, La Cava) and Matthew Warchus (Groundhog Day) and original music by Academy Award winner A.R. Rahman (Bombay Dreams, Slumdog Millionaire), Finnish folk band Värttinä, and Tony Award winner Christopher Nightingale (Matilda the Musical), this theatrical event celebrates community, courage, and camaraderie to create an unforgettable experience for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

“The greatest show on Middle‑earth comes home to Middle‑earth!” proclaimed Fredrica Drotos, of Middle-earth Enterprises. “We are very much looking forward to sharing the Hobbits’ epic re‑telling with all our friends there when The Lord of the Rings - A Musical Tale premieres in Auckland, New Zealand this November.”

As the Hobbits celebrate Bilbo Baggins’ eleventy-first birthday in the Shire, he gifts his nephew Frodo his most precious belonging—a gold ring. This fateful moment launches Frodo on a legendary and perilous quest across Middle-earth to the darkest realms of Mordor, to vanquish evil with his loyal Fellowship. The folk‑inspired score is performed live by the company onstage, weaving together original music with storytelling. The US premiere this summer coincides with the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which debuted July 29, 1954.

“We are delighted to share Director Paul Hart’s imagining of The Lord of the Rings on stage with New Zealand audiences before it embarks on its journey to entertain audiences around the world,” said Kevin Wallace on behalf of the producers. “This production that originated in the English Shires, before its US premiere in Chicago, comes to Auckland where we invite New Zealand to join us for Bilbo Baggins’ Long‑expected Party.” 

The waitlist for Auckland tickets is now open at