For the moment, Mark Brown’s crackerjack adventure comedy under Allison Bibicoff’s inspired baton opens ICT Season 28 with quite enough theatrical fireworks to light up the Long Beach sky for weeks to come.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
The production, which requires a cast of five to play dozens of roles in constantly shifting locales, could daunt less able practitioners. Fortunately, director Allison Bibicoff and her playful performers attack their material with just the right blend of silliness and rigor, giving an impromptu flair to this precisely regimented staging – no mean feat.
F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times
At first glance, the concept of using only five actors to fill 39 roles in a stage adaptation of Jules Verne’s adventure classic seems nothing more than a gimmick. What a delight, then, when it quickly becomes apparent that the tactic is integral to Mark Brown’s adaptation and that director Allison Bibicoff’s fast-paced staging is breezily funny. Watching Phileas Fogg surmount a succession of obstacles in circumnavigating the globe in 80 days is highly satisfying, as is seeing the versatile cast overcome the challenges raised by script and story.
Eric Marchese – Backstage
But in the 21st century it’s unlikely that anyone reads—let alone sees—Verne’s 19th-century creation simply to find out whether Fogg succeeds; the pleasure is in getting there. Both Brown and the International City Theatre (ICT) understand this, playing each aspect of the journey for its weight in fun.
Greggory Moore – Greater Long Beach
Thanks to Allison Bibicoff’s astute direction and top-notch production values (kudos to Staci Walters’ mutable map-of-the-world scenic design, Kim DeShazo’s retro-dandy costumes, Dave Mickey’s evocatively inventive sound motif, and Donna Ruzika’s lighthearted lighting design), this is a trip well-worth the purchase of a ticket.
Ben Miles – Showmag
I don’t say this much, but this production is a MUST SEE. So head down to Long Beach and thank me later.
Mickala Jauregui – A Little Night Musing
Around the World in 80 Days is one of those performances that leaves you feeling good, and wanting to talk about the most memorable moments afterward. And the best part of this play is that you indeed get to travel around the world without leaving your seat, or the comfort of the International City Theatre.
Jamie Gall – LifeInLA
It is quite the spectacle, entertaining and suspenseful at one, yet also filled with poignant, moral messages throughout.
Bonnie Priever – LA Examiner
A delightful case in point is playwright Mark Brown’s clever adaptation directed by Allison Bibicoff with a crack team of five energetic actors playing more than three dozen parts.
Melinda Schupmann – ArtsInLA
This is one of the most enjoyable, imaginative and amazing productions you’ll ever have the good fortune to witness. Not only will you be blown away by the five actors who play thirty-nine different characters and how well they do it but the staging is so clever and the dialogue so witty, you won’t want this trip to end.
Ingrid Wilmot – Will Call
Around the World in 80 Days demonstrates how theatre is possible no matter the limitations. The dedication of the performers and crew, as well as its ability to tap into the inner child within all of us, is what makes this show an enjoyable time.
Melissa Gordon – Playwriting in the City
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
International City Theatre
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; Ends Feb. 17, 2013
Tickets: $38 and $45; (562) 436-4610
Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.