Around the World in 80 Days: Show Review by Lainie Gutterman


There has always been something about the call of the unknown. Published in 1873, Around the World in Eighty Days is an adventure novel written by French writer Jules Verne.

I admit that my family has not yet had the opportunity to travel around the globe as much as I would like. That said, I was extremely excited to spend Mother’s Day bringing my son to see this theatrical re-imaging of Verne’s timeless story at The New Victory Theater.

Taken from the theatre’s performance description: The clock is ticking! With a fortune at stake, Phileas Fogg and his silly sidekick, Passepartout, must abandon the misty streets of Victorian London and circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days, or lose everything. Get swept up in the adventure as they race across Asia on the back of an elephant, speed by steamer ship over the stormy Pacific and ride the railroad through the American Wild West. Adapted by Laura Eason from Jules Verne’s classic novel, this fast-paced, globe-trotting theatrical romp is jam-packed with slapstick hilarity and comic book-style action scenes. Hurry, there’s no time to waste!

A talented ensemble of eight actors play over 125 characters in this high-caliber, globe-trotting tale. The interactions between the cast is phenomenal. The audience can’t help but root for true Englishman Phileas Fogg and his servant/valet lovable Passepartout whose every steps are dogged by a detective who thinks Fogg is a criminal on the run.

Watching the performance, I felt as if I was truly transported to other continents. The actors and props swaying on stage to create the motion of travel and the strong sound effects in the background conjured up an exciting sense of being a passenger on their voyage.

I marveled at how an elephant was quickly created on stage out of a single piece of gray fabric. What artistry and sheer precision. The moments of comic relief were well-timed and had the audience roaring with laughter. I especially appreciated that the show did not feel dated or from a previous time period, and yet the characters were able to travel without the use of consulting their smart phones or any other modern technology.

This whirlwind adventure offers something for everyone. There’s danger, comedy, romance, dance and theatrical magic mix.  It’s perfect for ages 7 and up.

Make haste and get your family’s tickets to Around the World in 80 Days which is only running until next weekend at The New Victory Theater. Friday, May 17 at 7PM, Saturday at 1PM & 7PM and Sunday, May 19 at 12Noon and 5PM. Tickets start at $17. The performance is 2 hours, including one intermission. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit https://tickets.newvictory.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=9448

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