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Lord of the ‘Rings’ cast

Carver to play Gandalf in stage version

TORONTO — He’s off to be the wizard.

Casting was announced Monday for the C$27 million ($22 million) stage version of “The Lord of the Rings” and Tony Award winner Brent Carver (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”) heads the 55-member cast as Gandalf.

Producer Kevin Wallace and director Matthew Warchus auditioned more than 4,000 actors for the past four months before coming up with their final choices.

Since the show will be originating in Toronto, most of the cast is Canadian, but thanks to concessions from Canadian Actors’ Equity, up to five foreign actors can be cast.

One of them is James Loye, the young Brit who will be playing Frodo. He has performed on stage at the Chichester Festival and the Old Vic.

Gollum will be played by Michael Therriault, a seven-season Stratford Festival veteran who’s currently playing Motel the tailor in Broadway revival “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Richard McMillan, who originated the role of Scar in the Toronto production of “The Lion King,” will be the villainous Saruman; Shaw Festival company member Evan Buliung will be the heroic Aragorn.

The remaining featured hobbits will be played by Brit Peter Howe (Sam), Canadian Dylan Roberts (Merry) and Irishman Owen Sharpe (Pippin).

Gabriel Burrafato, most recently seen as Magaldi in the 25th-anniversary national tour of “Evita,” will be Legolas. Dion Johnstone, starring in Stratford’s “As You Like It,” will be Boromir, Carly Street has been cast as Arwen, Victor A. Young will be Elrond, Kerry Dorey is Theoden and Kristin Galer is Rosie.

The roles of Galadriel, Bilbo and Gimli have not yet been cast.

Rehearsals begin in October and the production will open at the Princess of Wales Theater on March 23.

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