Saturday, March 7, 2015

Verne on Stage

So, as part of our do-more-things-together, now-that-Janice-has-retired theme, we went up to Everett today to see a play: AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS by Jules Verne (adapted by Mark Brown). We don't get to the area up north of Seattle that much, and don't get out to plays that much, so this made for a good combination.* And despite more traffic than we expected we'd left plenty of time and so got there in good time.

As for the play, the sets were minimal (of the chairs-representing-a-train variety) but sometimes ingenious, the costumes were great (a couple in steampunk outfit in the audience fit right in), and the acting (five people playing thirty-nine parts) was fine. Sadly enough, it was the script that let the team down. The play was not just silly but very silly, with lots of slapstick routines scattered throughout. In short, they played the story for laughs -- so much so that when they had a lighting malfunction half-way through the first half it was impossible to tell if this was part of the play or something gone wrong (their announcement of an impromptu early intermission more or less gave away that it was the latter). And that was too bad, because they had a pretty good cast, I thought. In keeping with what seems to be a trend (cf. the three-man CSL show we saw just last weekend, of the four/five person cast of THIRTY-NINE STEPS we saw during our anniversary trip to London in 2012), there was much doubling up by four of the five actors; only the one playing Phileas Fogg himself was 'in character' all the time.

So, enjoyable enough but disappointing in a could-easily-have-been-so-much-better sort of way.

--John R.
current reading: THE DARKEST ROAD by G. G. Kay [1986] (re-reading for book group; almost done, at last!)

*the last time we'd done both together being to see THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (by Rupert Holmes, of all people) a decade or more back

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