Tuesday, January 07, 2014

REVIEW: “Around The World In 80 Days” at The Empress Theatre

Photo credit: Deanne Rutledge Jones
Around The World In 80 Days

The Empress Theatre
January 3, 2014 – January 25, 2014

The Empress Theatre in Magna, Utah made history this weekend as they presented the North American premiere of the musical “Around The World In 80 Days”.

“This has been a long journey in the making,” said Jake Andersen, director of Around The World In 80 Days at The Empress Theatre. “Piers Chater Robinson and the wonderful folks at IT&M mentioned this musical to me back in 2011 when I was busy directing their version of ‘Peter Pan.’ Since that time I have wanted to see this musical brought to life on stage. Finally in 2013, we were given the privilege of presenting this classic novel in this new musical on our wonderful stage. Jules Verne's classic story of a gentleman's race against time to prove his dreams can come true is both inspiring and hilarious all at once.”

A fun show for the family, Around The World in 80 Days takes places in the late 1850s, when the railroad industry was booming and providing more convenient and fast travel. Phileas Fogg (played by Geoffrey Gregory) bets his entire estate that he can get travel around the world in only 80 days. With the help of his newly hired assistant, quirky Frenchman Passepartout (played by Jeffrey Erickson), they set out on a fast trip around the globe. What they don’t expect are the people and challenges that await them on their adventure. Will they make it? You’ll have to get your tickets to find out!

This production is a great opportunity to have a chat with your kids about the different countries and cultures around the world.

My husband made a comment that each person in the Around The World In 80 Days production was perfect for their role and played it brilliantly. I especially enjoyed watching the interaction between Inspector Fix (played by Josh Astle) and Passepartout (played by Jeffrey Erickson).

When you go to see this production, make sure you pay close attention to the “background” roles, and not just the main roles. The facial expressions and mannerisms of the characters in the background are hilarious, and had my kids in giggle fits! My kids immediately recognized Curtis Nash, who played the lead role in The Scarlet Pimpernel last year, and quickly became one of our favorite actors at The Empress.

We also enjoyed seeing many young kids in this production. They were absolutely adorable, and so much fun to watch!

Lyricist and Book writer for the show, Chris Blackwood, said "In a world where theatre has become able to show the most minute detail using projection and high tech gadgetry, I chose to write something that would remind the audience how to use their imagination. After all, the mind

is the most fantastic piece of technology we have."

This production provides a great use of imagination, and the characters help in their roles with their body movements and facial expressions while riding on the back of an elephant, and aboard the Union Pacific Railroad.  

Around The World In 80 Days is playing at The Empress Theatre in Magna every Monday, Friday and Saturday, now until January 25, 2014. You can purchase tickets online, or at the theatre located at 9104 West 2700 South in Magna, Utah. You can also follow The Empress on Facebook.

6Photo credit: Deanne Rutledge Jones

I received two complimentary tickets to attend and write my review of this production. I was not compensated financially, nor was I required or persuaded to write any specific type of review. The opinions and views expressed in this review are all my own.

1 comment:

  1. This play was brilliant a must see, the french man was well played and spot on! Don't miss it.


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