Walnut Street Theatre presents "Around the World in 80 Days"


7 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2013
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Tickets:
$40, $35, $30; $15 Children/Students

Image: Around the World in 80 DaysAudiences to Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts will be invited to travel Around the World in 80 Days at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2013, when the legendary Walnut Street Theatre presents Mark Brown's adaptation of the Jules Verne masterpiece as part of its national touring production. Family audiences of all ages, particularly those 10 and older, can appreciate this fast-paced, ensemble-based adaption in which the entire story is told, using only five actors. Tickets are $40, $35, and $30. Children and students are $15.

It's 1872 in London, and Phileas Fogg believes that, with modern transportation, it's now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a challenge of proving it can be done at the local Reform Club. The race against time begins, and it's a whirlwind journey filled with exotic locales, daring adventures, narrow escapes and great fun. The show has villainy, secret plots, a damsel in distress, and narrow escapes that will keep audiences on the edge of their seat, at least until they begin to roll in the aisle with laughter.

Fascinated by the rapid circumnavigation that the technological advances of the 19th century created, French writer Jules Verne completed his popular classic adventure novel in 1873. Verne was a pioneer of the science fiction genre and is the second most translated author in the world, following Agatha Christie. His work, "Around the World in 80 Days," has been adapted several times, including in the 1956 Oscar Award-winning film and the 1989 Emmy nominated three-part TV mini-series. Award-winning writer and actor, Mark Brown's adaptation of the novel premiered in 2001 at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

With speedy quick changes that add to the hilarity throughout the travels of the play, the five-member Walnut Street ensemble brings to life a variety of 30 characters in an imaginative and colorful production the Philadelphia Inquirer calls "delightful." The cast features Anthony Lawton as the well-traveled Phileas Fogg. His French valet Passepartout is played by Damon Bonetti. Sarah Gliko joins the cast as the beautiful Aouda. Fix, the Detective from Scotland Yard, will be John Zak, and Bill Van Horn rounds out the ensemble.

Founded in 1809, Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest theatre in America, and has received numerous awards for its artistic achievements, including the Barrymore and Carbonell Awards. Its absolute commitment to artists and audiences has resulted in the largest subscription audience in the world, now boasting over 56,000 subscribers. Some of the most noteworthy American actors of the 19th century and many from the 20th century have appeared on stage at the Walnut, including Will Rogers, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, George C. Scott, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Jack Lemmon, and William Shatner. The theatre has been home to many pre-Broadway try-outs of plays that would go on to become American classics, such as "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Marlon Brando, "A Raisin in the Sun" featuring Sidney Poitier, and "Mister Roberts," starring Henry Fonda. Following the success of its first two national tours of Walnut Street Theatre productions, "The Glass Menagerie" and last season's "Proof," "Around the World in 80 Days" is the third Walnut production to embark on a tour. Walnut Street Theatre is also widely known for successful collaborations and co-productions both in England and the U.S.

Tickets and subscriptions are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 31, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 169