Asolo Repertory Theatre presents the final production of its 60th season: “Around the World in 80 Days.”
This highly imaginative adaptation of Jules Verne’s timeless story will be brought to life by the creators of “Hetty Feather,” adapted by Emmy nominee Laura Eason (“House of Cards” and “Sex with Strangers,”) and directed by Theresa Heskins (“Snow Queen,” 2017 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People). Recommended for everyone 7 and older.
“Around the World in 80 Days previews June 6, opens June 7 and runs through June 22 in the Mertz Theatre.
The clock is ticking. With a fortune at stake, the mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Get swept up in the adventure as he and his loyal valet Passepartout race across Asia on the back of an elephant, speed by steamer ship over the stormy Pacific and ride the railroad through the American Wild West. Adapted from Jules Verne’s classic novel, this globetrotting theatrical romp is jam-packed with danger, romance and non-stop hilarity.
“Around the World in 80 Days” premiered at New Vic Theatre in Staffordshire in 2013 and was revived in 2014 when it toured to Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. It was nominated for both the UK Theatre Awards “Best New Production” and the Manchester Theatre Awards “Best Show for Children and Families.”
“I’m thrilled that our family initiative continues to bring more and more young people to the theater each season,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “’Around the World in 80 Days’ is a fresh, innovative theatrical journey that is bound to intrigue and delight audiences of all ages and transform these young, first-time patrons into lifelong theatergoers.”
Heskins is the Artistic Director of the New Vic, Staffordshire, where she has helmed “The 39 Steps,” “The Snow Queen” and “Alice in,Wonderland.” Her writing credits include” Wives and Daughters” for BBC Radio; and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which has been produced all over the world.
“The thing I love most about this show is how it delights audiences of every sort — whatever their age, both adults as well as children; whether they’re regular theatergoers or paying their first ever visit to the theatre,” Heskins said.
The cast includes some of the UK’s brightest actors: Pushpinder Chani (Mr.Naidu), Kirsten Foster (Mrs. Aouda), Matthew Ganley (Colonel Proctor), Dennis Herdman (Inspector Fix), Michael Hugo (Passepartout), Nyron Levy (Captain Speedy), Joey Parsad (Miss Singh), and Andrew Pollard (Phileas Fogg). Simon Friend Entertainment’s productions have won Olivier, UKT and Critics’ Circle Awards.
Asolo Rep is offering special family prices throughout the show’s run. Tickets for Saturday matinees (including Family Day) are $17 per person and $19 for all other performances (at least one person must be 17 or younger).
Asolo Rep is proud to partner with the following community organizations throughout the run of “Around the World in 80 Days:” Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Carousel’s Soft Serve Icery, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, CreArte Latino Theater, Manatee County Libraries, The Ringling Museum and Sarasota County Libraries.
Asolo Rep will host Family Day at “Around the World in 80 Days” on Saturday, June 15 beginning at 12:30 p.m. Before the matinee performance, enjoy pre-show activities from Community Partners, including live music with Alexander Cubillos from CreArte Latino Theater. Community Partner Carousel’s Soft Serve Icery will provide free sweet treats and Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering will have lunch available for purchase.
Asolo Rep is making June a time for families, so much so that its board of directors voted to designate a gift of $84,000 that the theater received in fall 2016 as a beneficiary of the Joy McCann Culverhouse Charitable Remainder Trust to producing a family-oriented show in June 2017, 2018 and 2019. These gifts, along with significant support from a range of corporate sponsors, foundations, and individual donors, help to underwrite production costs, keeping ticket prices affordable for area families, and a range of enrichment activities.
With donor support, Asolo Rep is providing over 1,600 youth and family members with free tickets to “Around the World in 80 Days,” as well as souvenir knapsacks, each stuffed with a book, activity sheets, and more.
Family prices are $17 per person for Saturday matinees June 8, 15 (Family Day) and 22; and $19 per person for all other performances. Ar least one person in the party must be 17 or younger. To purchase tickets, call 941-351-8000, 800-361-8388, or visit: asolorep.org.or the box office in the lobby at the Florida State Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.