Traveling around the world...while staying in one seat!

Last night was the official opening night of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of Around the World in 80 Days. MJ and I had a grand ol' time traveling along to the different countries and didn't even have to move out of our seats. Theater and travel are just becoming so convenient!

At the Pittsburgh Public Theater until May 13th!
The show is directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and is lined up with a phenomenal cast of Tom Beckett, Ron Bohmer, Jeffrey Kuhn, Meera Rohit Kumbhani and Richard B. Watson. While everyone was amazing at their parts, I have to say that Tom Beckett and Jeffrey Kuhn stole this one for me. Any show that allows the actors to talk in ridiculous accents always is a winner in my book, but Jeffrey portraying Frenchman, Passepartout and Tom portraying just about every other character, just took this show to the next level. Mostly Tom Beckett, because his ability to switch from one costume to the next and one accent to the next, killed me. I loved every facial expression and every bit of effort he was putting into this performance. Even though he made it look seamless, I'm sure it was a workout and I very much appreciated watching! I also very much enjoyed Meera, because while her bio notes a small background in theater, I thought she was fabulous, she's also the only woman in the show, so of course I'll side with her any day. But, from each actor, I cannot talk about how much I loved every time they were on a train, boat or other form of transportation and were able to remain in character and really deliver, while acting out the movement of the type of transportation. For the audience, a few times this just looked silly, which I'm sure was the point, but oh, my gosh, the movements just made the scenes come to life and at times had me and MJ in tears of laughter.

Ron Bohmer as Phileas Fogg. (Keith Hodan: Tribune-Review Photo.)
As always, the set was gorgeous. If you read my last Public Theater review, then you know that I was so impressed by the set of Freud's Last Session. But the scenic designer of Around the World, Michael Schweikardt, might have out done that set with this one. Now granted, this set is a lot less grand than Freud's Last Session, there is no massive bookshelf that I feel in love with, but there were more beautiful large pieces to look at on the stage this time. I especially loved that from where we were sitting, the stair case was almost directly across from us, so from time to time it felt like we were right in the action of the show. My favorite piece though was the elephant, I thought it was so cleverly done and loved how the actors interacted with it. Along with the set, the sound and lighting crew was on point with this show. I especially loved a certain scene about a haywire train that perfectly played out and showed how every single person involved in this show worked together harmoniously. But I'll leave that scene and the elephant to your imagination to entice you to go see this performance a little more.

Above all, I loved that this stage was used how it's supposed to be. Since it's a thrust stage, there are bits of audience members on three sides. Of course most of them are sitting where the audience would normally sit in the front center, however, there are still a good bit of them sitting on the sides. And since MJ and I were on the sides for this show, I especially took notice to the direction of where the actors were.  I love the Marcia took the time to notice that the audience is also on the sides, because not every director does that even when using a thrust stage. I very much appreciated that no matter where you were seated in the audience, at some point in this show you saw the actors from every angle. That might seem like such a small detail to some, but when you're actually sitting on the side, it's nice to see a face. Try going through an entire show without getting a good look at the actors faces, that would not be a fun time. So, thank you Marcia for your direction and using every bit of the Public's stage and thank you Public Theater for another quality show!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love you for leaving a comment and do my best to reply to each one! I no longer accept anonymous commenting because of the amount of spam I was getting - I hope this isn't a problem for you. Thanks for checking out my blog :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...