Not since Warner Bros. stretched JRR Tolkien’s shortest novel into three movies has so much been done with so little.
The manic comedy troupe Recent Cutbacks are back from touring with their Jurassic Park send-up Hold On To Your Butts, and they've set themselves what sounds like an impossible challenge: a scene-for-scene recreation of the first Lord of the Rings film, in the purely metaphorically titled (no, seriously, sit DOWN Frodo, there's an elf speaking) Fly, You Fools!
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It doesn’t get lower-fi than a small circle of props and a paper towel roll, and you’ve never seen black hoodies work harder as costumes, but there's definitely magic in this production. Nick Abeel and Kyle Schaefer have brought in Matt Zambrano (Orlando Bloom has nothing on his Legolas ) as the fourth of their fellowship, guided by foley artist Blair Busbee, who manages to steal several key moments from behind her table of props.
Together they prance, whine and row their way toward Mordor in an hour-long adventure that manages to balance wink-wink parody with enough emotional gravitas to show that this — like any fan project — is a labor of love. Who needs CGI when you’ve got that?
Fly, You Fools!
Premieres April 1, 9:30 p.m.
Continues on Fridays through April 29, 8 p.m.
The Peoples Improv Theater, 123 E. 24th St.