AROUND THE WORLD Plays Stage West Beginning Tonight, 8/23
A daring bank robbery! A runaway train! A princess in danger! A raging typhoon! These are just a few of the ingredients which make up the inspired silliness of Mark Brown's stage adaptation of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days, beginning its run at Fort Worth's Stage West tonight, August 23.
Phileas Fogg is just a trifle OCD. His life is a model of precision; he has just dismissed his manservant for bringing his shaving water two degrees cooler than he specified. One evening in 1872, while he is playing cards at the Reform Club, the topic of global circumnavigation arises. The Daily Telegraph has published an article stating that the journey could be accomplished in 80 days. Fogg, believing their calculations to be accurate, is not in the least hesitant to risk his life's savings on a wager that he can pull off this feat. And so he embarks, accompanied by his newly-hired servant, Passepartout.
It's a race against the clock and the calendar, with many bumps in the road. Not the least of these is a Scotland Yard detective who believes him to be the perpetrator of a major bank robbery, and is determined to bring him to justice. But he is on schedule-until he decides to rescue an Indian princess from death. Can Fogg still win the day? Or will he have to accept that he cannot completely control the events in his life? It's 24,000 miles, 39 characters, 5 actors, and 2 delicious hours of theatre!
Mark Brown is an award-winning writer and actor. His plays include The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, China - The Whole Enchilada, Poe: Deep Into That Darkness Peering (co-written with Mark Rector), and The Little Prince (co-written with Paul Kiernen). As an actor, he has appeared on stage, screen, and television, working with Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Dick Van Dyke, Jeff Goldblum, and the Rally Monkey. He lives in New York with his wife, daughter, and dog.
Around the World in 80 Days is directed by Jerry Russell, and features a mix of familiar and new faces. Phileas Fogg will be played by Paul Taylor, most recently seen as The Baker in the PFamily Arts production of Into the Woods, while Jakie Cabe, seen as David Sarnoff in Theatre Three's The Farnsworth Invention, will appear as the resourceful Passepartout. Carissa Jade Olsen, a Baylor graduate whose roles there included Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, will be seen as damsel in distress Aouda, among others. Cliff Stephens, who was seen as Beverly Weston in August: Osage County at WaterTower Theatre, will play the determined Detective Fix, along with seven other roles. And Dwight Greene, whose many Stage West roles include Sgt. Match in Stage West's What the Butler Saw, will tackle 17 roles, ranging from the British Consul to a Chinese Broker.
The set will be designed by Jennifer Schultes, who also handles some of the graphic design for Stage West. Costume design will be again be handled by Michael Robinson and Dallas Costume Shoppe, who has provided costumes for several Stage West shows, including our productions of What the Butler Saw, New Jerusalem and Arms and the Man. Michael O'Brien will design the lighting, with set décor and props by Lynn Lovett.
Around the World in 80 Days will preview tonight, August 23 (note: the original dates for this show were pushed back a week by the extension of the popular Red Hot Patriot) at 7:30 and Friday, August 24 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, September 30. Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. The opening night reception will be Saturday, August 25.
Ticket prices range from $26 to $30, with discounts for preview performances, and for students and seniors. Pay What You Can performances will be Sunday, August 26 and Thursday, August 30. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are necessary), and all Friday nights after August 24 will feature the $38 Prix Fixe Special. Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org.
Photo credit: Buddy Myers