On your marks for the original amazing race! International City Theatre’s 28th season gets off to a flying start with Around the World in 80 Days, adapted by Mark Brown from the visionary, classic adventure story by Jules Verne. For a taste of exotic locales, daring exploits, narrow escapes and great fun, head over to International City Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center between January 25 and February 17, or take in a low-priced preview on January 23 or 24.
It’s 1872, and Phileas Fogg—normally the most exact of men who conducts his days on a most precise schedule—agrees to an outrageous wager that puts both his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. It’s a whirlwind journey filled with danger, romance, secret plots and comic surprises that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats—until they begin to roll in the aisles with laughter.
“It’s a madcap adventure—pure, hysterical fun,” says director Allison Bibicoff. “We have five actors playing over 3 dozen parts, and they face everything from stampeding elephants to a raging typhoon to a runaway train. It’s an extremely challenging production, and also a chance to be mega-creative.”
“I wanted this one to be fun for the audience, and for the actors,” explained Mark Brown in an interview. “Sometimes I think actors want to kill me for what I have done. But I sort of knew what was possible for quick changes, and breaking down the fourth wall as well as breaking down time and space throughout the entire show. It’s a really fun play, a fun night out at the theater. It’s about as deep as a shallow puddle, but it’s really fun.”
Around the World in 80 Days runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 2 pm, January 25 through February 17. Two preview performances take place on Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday, January 24 @ 8 pm. Tickets are $38 on Thursdays and $45 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except opening night which is $50 and includes a reception with the actors following the performance. Preview tickets are $29. International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 300 E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations and information, call the ICT Box Office at 562-436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.com.