Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gandalf no no it is Sir Ian McKellen

Photo bomber, me, Beth, and a jovial Ian.
On Sunday (Happy Mother's Day) afternoon in the Tauranga CBD, Beth and I sat at Steakout eating a quick lunch.  I looked up to see a bright blue jacket and hat.  I quickly reached for my phone so I could snap a photo.  Right outside the window was the man who portrayed Gandalf and Magneto.  Coincidentally, we were in Tauranga to see his one man show that wasn't slated to begin for over an hour. 
Sir Ian decked out in blue, supposedly my favorite color.
 At Baycourt Theater Sir Ian took to the stage to benefit the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch which was damaged in last year's earthquake.  I would say he performed for about 2 hours, but it wasn't necessarily a performance.  Yes, he did recite several monologues from his large repertoire of work.  These were delivered with the seasoned experience of a stage performer.  He held the audience as he paced the stage or sat in his chair and transformed himself in body and manner into a different persona.  I was amazed with his vocal range as he described the pages of life from infant to a person on death's door.  He told stories about his personal and professional life as well as answering many a question.  Sir Ian also talked about the challenges of filming "The Hobbit" as well as when principal shooting was wrapping up.   
Still needs to read lines?

The audience was invited on to the stage a couple times.  Once was to come play with Gandalf's sword, Glamdring.  I'm glad that WETA allowed him to take one of the sword versions for his show.  The other was to help perform his final monologue.  The audience roared with applause when the final curtain fell.  Sir Ian did come back out and performed a quick song before signing autographs and posing for photographs in the lobby.  I'm sorry Mike, but I didn't know that this was going to happen or I would have done myself up like Wolverine.
What is the deathly hallows doing here?  McKellen as Dumbledore?

It was a sweet as afternoon.  The Isaac Theatre Royal is located in the red zone of Christchurch, but they are predicting that the theatre can open before the end of the year.  I hope that the other shows go as well as this one as it was sold out. 

1 comment:

  1. Totally jealous! Missed him when he did King Lear at the Guthrie back in Minneapolis. Heard that was awesome too. Did you find him to be a good guy off stage as well?