The Arvada Center hosts the critically acclaimed Creede Repertory Theatre's (CRT) presentation of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS playing now through October 27th. Adapted by Mark Brown
from the novel by Jules Verne
, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is a brilliantly physical adaptation of one of the greatest adventure novels of all time. Having agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk, fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg sets out to circle the globe in a miraculous 80 days. Danger, romance and comic surprises abound in this whirlwind of a show as 5 actors portraying 39 characters traverse 7 continents. Join in the fun as Fogg and his faithful servant Passepartout race around the world in an effort to beat the clock.
While this show is wonderfully imaginative and quite inventive, the first act left me feeling a little bit jetlagged and wanting more. This actually surprised my after experiencing previous hits such as Road to Mecca and Mark Twain
's Is He Dead. A part of me questioned whether this was the right show to bring to the Arvada Center from their wide diversity from this summer. Honestly, I would have loved to have seen William Shakespeare
's Land Of The Dead creep down from the mountain. That show would have been perfect for this spooky time of year and unlike anything we have ever seen at the Arvada Center before. All of these doubts were put to rest in the second act that came out of the dock swinging and full of energy, romance, comedy, and fun. Had Act One had a little more of the high-flying second half, as well as some infusion of Monty Python antics, then this show would have been a hit in my eyes. I must say that the true winner of the night was the movement blocking and choreography of the ensemble that was carefully thought out and fascinating to watch. I adored the freeze frame movements in the first couple of scenes and was hoping to see more of that throughout the show, but was so pleasantly surprised with the fun moves that followed. Another saving grace of this show was this talented ensemble that worked so well as a cohesive unit!
Dustin Bronson was wonderful as the leading man and adventurer, Phileas Fogg. He really was crucial in carrying the plot along and even with his stoic and methodical side, he showed such compassion and emotion. Graham Ward was fascinating to watch as Fogg's assistant, Passepartout and I loved watching his growth from humble servant to dynamic sidekick and becoming his own man. Caitlin Wise
was absolutely lovely as Fogg's love interest Aouda and while her accent was a little interesting, she has this adorable charm that draws you to her. John Arp
was great as the half-way menacing, Detective Fix and his bumbling ways were fun to watch. This night belonged to man of many disguises, Patrick Du Laney and he deserves a standing ovation for giving each of this over-the-top and memorable characters such variety and hilarity.
Director Charlie Oates was effective in getting the story across, but I felt that it needed more - whether it was multimedia, or vaudevillian antics, the show was fun but left a little something to be desired (especially in Act One). The scenic design by Mark Guirguis was simple, yet so effective in covering every corner of the globe, but a little extra infusion of multimedia on the backdrop would have added so much dimension to each individual scene. Even with that said, I did love his imagination and the transformation of the set props that garnered gasps from the audience. I also have to mention that the "elephant" was an extra special touch that the audience adored. The lighting by designer Jacob Welch was quite effective and I loved the extra special effects. The sound (by designer Jake Harbour) was also great and I loved the adventurous music that played as a soundtrack to the show. One of the highlights of the night were the costumes by talented mind of Tatyana De Pavloff that played perfectly into the period and I loved the variety and color of the ensemble.
Creede Repertory Theatre's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS taking audiences on a world tour now through October 27th in the Black Box Theatre of the Arvada Center. Performances are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Arvada Center box office by calling 720-898-7200
or online to www.arvadacenter.org
Creede Repertory Theatre is an award-winning theater company located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The Company presented the Around the World in 80 Days as part of its recently completed 2013 summer season. The adventurous comedy marks the fourth collaboration between the Arvada Center and CRT.
Pictured L-R: Dustin Bronson (Phileas Fogg), John Arp (Detective Fix), Graham Ward (Passepartout), Caitlin Wise (Aouda)
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