Around the World in 80 Days-Balloons to Sarasota, Florida St

March 21
9:37 AM 2006

A Literary Classic Gets a New Look:

Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days

Comes to the FST Mainstage in a New Adaptation

Florida Studio Theatre will wrap up its 2005-2006 Winter Mainstage Season with a balloon trip around the world!

Jules Verne's classic literary adventure novel, Around the World in 80 Days , gets a new re-telling in an adaptation by Mark Brown. The finale to the 2005-2006 Winter Mainstage season opens April 11 and runs through June 10, 2006 in FST's Keating Theatre.

Long before The Amazing Race , Jules Verne wrote Around the World in 80 Days , a clever adventure novel that follows Phileas Fogg as he sets out to prove he can traverse the globe in less than three months. With his sidekick, Passepartout, Fogg never imagined he'd have to overcome so many obstacles – or have so much fun! Racing around the world, Fogg encounters just about every disaster – natural or otherwise – known to man. From stampeding elephants to hurricanes to damsels in distress to bumbling British detectives, one never knows if Fogg will win the bet and make it Around the World in 80 Days .

Playwright Ron Brown has kept many elements of the literary classic, making for an exciting adventure onstage. Five actors and the audience's imagination create hot air balloons, stampeding elephants, exotic locales, damsels in distress and more in Around the World in 80 Days.

While producing a classic such as Around the World in 80 Days may seem like a departure for Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, FST actually has a history of producing plays based on classic literature – particularly new adaptations such as Brown's take on Around the World in 80 Days.

In past seasons, FST has produced new adaptations of The Learned Ladies, freshly adapted by Freyda Thomas; Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene, adapted by Giles Havergal; and The Triumph of Love by Marivaux, adapted by Stephen Wadsworth. Florida Studio Theatre patrons have seen a number of contemporary and fresh adaptations of classic stories and Brown's Around the World in 80 Days fits in with that tradition.

" Around the World in 80 Days is a wonderful piece of classic literature," says Richard Hopkins, FST's Artistic Director & CEO. "It not only has a cast of thousands, it also has an elephant, a typhoon and a flying balloon. The medium of theatre is uniquely equipped to bring this extraordinary piece of literature to life through the theatrical use of five actors and the audience's imagination."

The cast of Around the World in 80 Days includes Eric Hissom, Brad DePlanche, Sheffield Chastain, Mahira Kakkar and Dan Matisa. Mr. Chastain has appeared in the previous FST productions The Last Schwartz, Bee-luther-hatchee and Lobby Hero. The rest of the cast are making their FST debuts. Russell Treyz will direct the show, with assistance from guest artists Bob Phillips (Scenic Design) and Martin Vreeland (Lighting Design), and from FST staffer Marcella Beckwith (Costume Design).

Around the World in 80 Days begins April 11 and runs through June 10, 2006 at FST's Keating Theatre. Tickets are $29-32 and may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person or by calling (941) 366-9000.

Florida Studio Theatre

1241 North Palm Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34236



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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.


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