Press Release from ComMedia LLC



The recent success of the academy award winning film “The Fellowship of the Ring” has introduced a mainstream audience to the classic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, written by J.R.R. Tolkien. But few outside a group of hardcore fans realize that characters depicted in the movie had their origin in an earlier Tolkien novel, “The Hobbit”. With the next “Lord of the Rings” film installment not due until Christmas, audiences can now whet their Tolkien appetites with a professional theatrical production of this famous prequel.

ComMedia LLC (a doing-business-as name for Klappert Consulting LLC) just signed a contract with Actors’ Equity to assure the best production of the work. With it, Director Jon Ecklund and Producer Walt Klappert have been able to hire veteran actors including Gregory Berger Sobeck and Meg Brogan to fill the boots and hairy feet of Tolkien’s characters. They have also brought on designer Melissa Scheuerman to create the elaborate characters’ costumes and properties that will recreate Middle Earth. The production is based on scenes from the 1991 dramatic adaptation of “The Hobbit” by Markland Taylor by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

“The Hobbit”, written in 1937, predated the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy by seventeen years. The novel established the “Middle Earth” fantasy universe, and the familiar characters Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, Elrond, and Gollum. Most importantly, “The Hobbit” introduced the “One Ring”, the control of which was the central plot point in the later trilogy.

The story begins with the wizard Gandalf recruiting the reluctant hobbit Bilbo Baggins to join him and the dwarf Thorin in a quest to recover a priceless treasure stolen by the evil Dragon Smaug. In their travels, they encounter friendly elves and humans, sinister trolls and goblins, and the riddle-playing Gollum, whose lost ring proves invaluable in the success of their venture.

This is a production for the whole family. The setting of the performance is in scenic Topanga Canyon, which resembles Tolkien’s description of the Hobbit’s Shire.
The play opens Friday, September 28th. Tickets are $19 except for Saturdays when the price is $21.

Tickets can be purchased at (see CA-Southern or search “hobbit”), or by calling 800-965-4827. The Topanga Comm House is located at 1440 Topanga Canyon Blvd., in Los Angeles.

Somewhere behind the fog, the sun rose in Atlanta. The TORN staff rose considerably later…Today DragonCon started to fill up with guests, though we ain’t seen nothing yet, if I can believe what the others. Today we had a table to look after on a busy corner of the lobby where the whole Con world walked past, sooner or later. First we had to move a mountain of books that Houghton Mifflin had kindly donated – which we have the pleasure of raffling away for the next few days. It turns out that you can decorate any room to look great with enough Lord of the Rings books. Soon we had a dull grey conference room looking about as Tolkien-esque as it possibly could, with posters, books, banners and standees. Aragorn and Legolas of course…usually there’d be a few women jockeying for position to stand in his line of sight.

We split our troops so that some of us minded the table while others did the Tolkien Track over at the Hyatt. The table, well, we were running the Two Towers preview looped on a laptop, and that acted as the perfect bait to peel the Tolkien fans away from the pulsating mass of diverse and unlikely fauna that makes up a DragonCon crowd. That was fun – just chatting to Tolkien fans from all round the country, and giving away the great selection of bookmarks we’d made out of the best fan art that we’d received on the TORN fan art section. Saulone of our community site had his laptop set up to show the latest developments on his beautiful There and Back Again site, and it was fun showing people around his site.

Jincey started things off in the Tolkien track room with her the ‘Welcome to Middle-earth’ presentation, which centered on the Houghton Mifflin “Making Of” documentary, which was on the DVD ‘extras’ which a lot of you will have seen already, but there were a few people in the room who hadn’t seen it, including a group of green leaf-covered tree people.

During the day a huge box arrived full of the new TORN bowling shirts for the TORN staff. Since then Calisuri has turned into the medium-sized Lebowski,going “Dude” with every second sentence. They are GREAT bowling shirts. We have to say thanks to for those. Now we all match. New helper on the Staff is Drew, one of Corvar’s workmates, who looks like a clone of Xoanon. Bizarre. Next year we could hold a ‘TORN staff lookalike’ contest and Drew would win.

Corvar, Saulone and Calisuri talked to a crowd of fans just large enough lose Calisuri’s bet, about ‘How to run a successful Tolkien website.’ Evidently more than 10 people care.

Glass Hammer” showed some music vidoes from their Middle Earth album.

That was followed by ‘An Evening in Bree,’ which attracted way more people than would fit in the room we were assigned, which we’d set up with a nice fireplace and a sign from the Prancing Pony, so it was a shame in some ways that we had to move, but there was no way that crowd would fit in there. The DragonCon organizers allowed us to move into a large lobby. Pretty soon Celtic band Emerald Rose were playing and groups of young Elves and Hobbits were dancing a lively Springle-ring. I fantasized that we would manage to subvert some passing Storm Troopers and kidnap them into a Springle-ring, but it seems they may have been off doing their Million Trooper March (in full costume) to Hard Rock Cafe or something because we didn’t see them around. Lots of Pern and Wheel of Time people seemed to enjoy the Bree event though.

We held a costume contest, judged by myself, Joe Piela of Lonely Mountain Forge, and Steve Babbs of Glass Hammer. Lots of great costumes, but the winning prizes went to a great Nazgul, a Merry, and a woman who went as Aragorn’s mother Gilraen. We’ll announce winners tomorrow if I can find the bit of paper……

Check out the pictures in our Two Galleries:

Day 2 Photo Gallery (taken by Asfaloth)
– General DragonCon, Atlanta and other photos

Day 2 Photo Gallery (taken by Calisuri, Saulone, Bill)
– Pictures of general DCon crowd, TORnado Bowling Shirts and the contestents in the ‘Evening in Bree’ Costume Contest.

The Lord of the Rings is a book of undeniable quality, arguably one of the greatest books ever written and in recent years winner of the incredible accolade of ‘greatest book of the 20th century’. In comparison, The Hobbit has often been criticised for being a more childish and simplistic tale, some say fairly, some say not. This weekend, the Hall of Fire discusses whether The Hobbit is a worthy precursor to The Lord of the Rings. [More]

The Lord of the Rings is a book of undeniable quality, arguably one of the greatest books ever written and in recent years winner of the incredible accolade of ‘greatest book of the 20th century’. In comparison, The Hobbit has often been criticised for being a more childish and simplistic tale, some say fairly, some say not. This weekend, the Hall of Fire discusses whether The Hobbit is a worthy precursor to The Lord of the Rings.

Some claim that The Hobbit should not be judged in comparison to The Lord of the Rings but a singular piece of work in its own right. Originally, The Hobbit was conceived by J.R.R Tolkien as a story to tell his children at bedtime, and from that evolved into the story of an unintentional hero called Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit is a different literary genre to The Lord of the Rings, written with no thought or intention on having a successor. Is it not unfair to view it as otherwise?

However, there are a number of people who hold a contrasting view to the above. The fact that The Hobbit was written as a children’s tale is irrelevant: as the predecessor to The Lord of the Rings it is highly unsatisfactory, a mediocre piece of writing, unworthy of being spoken in the same breath as The Lord of the Rings.

But which view do you share? The believe that The Hobbit is a more simplistic and idealistic tale that shares the innocent view of Bilbo Baggins as he steps out into the big, wild world? Or is it a piece of literature that pales in comparison to The Lord of the Rings, and falls short of its high standard. Whichever view you share, join us this weekend for what should be a fantastic debate!

Sep 7 & 8 – TTT Book 4, Chap 1 – The Taming of Smeagol
Sep 14 & 15 – TTT Book 4, Chap 2 – The Passage of the Marshes
Sep 21 & 22 – Hero & the Heroic in LoTR
Sep 28 & 29 – TTT Book 4, Chap 3 – The Black Gate is closed

#thehalloffire on server; come to’s chat room Barliman’s and then type /join #thehalloffire .

Saturday Chat: 5:30 pm ET (17:30) [also 11:30 pm (23:30) CET and 7:30 am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat: 7:00 pm (19:00) CET [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 4:00 am (04:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe

Questions? Topics? Send ‘em here.

I’m sure when Billy Boyd or any one of the other Hobbit boys talk about being ‘in’ Guinness they don’t mean the World Records Book, but they’ve made it into that as well! Cheers boys! [More]

From: MS

LotR:FotR made it into the 2003 Guiness World Records! On page 185 there is a nice half page color photo from the movie of the hobbits brandishing their swords (and looking rather frightened), with caption reading: “Most latex feet made for a single film”; perhaps not the greatest reason to get in there, but the picture looks good.