Based on the classic, timeless story by Jules Verne, a genius in his own right, "Around the World in 80 Days," at International City Theatre in Long Beach, transforms its stage into a whirlwind, epic, global journey with huge theatrical appeal. Right from the opening scene, this literary favorite comes to life, as the story of intrigue unfolds. The setting is London, 1872; and Phileas Fogg accepts a wager for 20,000 pounds from fellow club members, which he will receive upon completing travels around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by his faithful, and incredibly humorous servant, Monsieur Passepartout, he leaves London by train. The production is complete with spectacular, resplendent special effects; slapstick physical humor; and florid with authentic costumes of the era.
It is quite the spectacle, entertaining and suspenseful at one, yet also filled with poignant, moral messages throughout. For those who love the taste of adventure and the love of international travel, this show is a vicarious treat, for both children and adults alike. With a cast of only five actors (Mark Gagliardi; Melinda Porto; Brian Stanton; Michael Uribes; and Jud V. Williford, playing 35 characters, this ensemble quickly learns the intrinsic rule of theatre 101:"there are no small roles, only small actors." From loyal servant Passepartout, to shrewd Detective Fix, with an elaborate set, including stampeding elephants, a raging typhoon, and a runaway train, each actor and scenario recreates an 'amazing race' to the finish line, an action filled ride, leaving each audience member at the edge of one's seat. One immediately recognizes the depth of character development and creative teamwork involved, due largely to the masterful talents of director Allison Bibicoff.
Artistic Director/Producer Caryn Desai notes: "In today's fast moving and quickly changing world, it is uncommon for something to stand the test of time... Around the World in 80 Days is a wonderful example and testament to something that withstood the test of time... Witness this current stage adaptation by playwright Mark Brown, of one of the most famous adventure stories of all time."
The show truly carries emotional energy. From novel to film to television to cartoon animation, and now a live stage production, "Around the World in 80 Days" is an enamoring encapsulation of the classic story, inspiring people to see the world and experience other cultures on this exotic time travel journey.
Through February 17th
Thursdays 8PM; Fridays 8Pm; Saturdays 8PM; Sundays 2Pm
International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 East Ocean Blvd Long Beach CA
tickets: (562) 436-4610