Wednesday, May 5

IRT: Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days opens at IRT, Indianapolis, this week capturing the imagination of the audience, sweeping them along for the Jules Vernes journey.

Mark Brown’s adaptation, set in 1862, applies a minimalist approach with the cast of five actors taking on dozens of roles, on a set of moving sections and little else. Rather than detracting from the storyline, the constant role-switching enhances the audience’s enjoyment, as if we were in a secret theatre watching a play being rehearsed before it hits the big time. However, this one has already made it big, with years’ worth of stages, movies, awards and adaptations.

When Phileas Fogg (Jeff Cummings) accepts a wager from his English chums to circumnavigate around the globe in 80 days, he takes along new French manservant, Passepartout (La Shawn Banks). Cummings gives Fogg the exact mathematical-minded attitude created in the original work.

Audience favorite Passepartout is played superbly by Banks in his IRT debut; the cheeky enthusiasm he brings to the role is enjoyed by the audience. The delight of the character is enhanced when paired with gruff Detective Fix (John Lister). The twosome's interactions give cause for several laugh-out-loud moments while Fix attempts to detain Fogg's journey.

Bottom Line: Around the World in 80 Days is a sweet journey full of adventure, misadventure and romance, perfect for the entire family.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, theater critic and travel writer. For comments and questions send an e-mail to her at or follow her on facebook.

--This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in West Side Community News and West Indianapolis Community News.

*Photos by Julie Curry Photography

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