STONY POINT — “Around the World in 80 Days” is a Jules Verne classic that has been served as the basis for an animated series, five different films, two television travel series, a television miniseries, three stage musicals and two plays. Verne wrote his own stage play, and the other is by Mark Brown.
Penguin Rep is presenting Brown’s lighthearted, comedic version as its latest offering. The production sports beautiful, colorful and eye-catching costumes by Patricia Doherty and ingenious, multipractical set design by Joseph Egan, and director Thomas Caruso does a fine job of bringing this intricate and fast-paced story to life.
His cast of five (four men and one woman) portray more than 30 characters of every nationality that they encounter on their journey. Sam Guncler as Phileas Fogg is perfection as the stiff-upper-lipped Englishman who wagers all his wealth on making it around the world in 80 days by rail and steamboat. His devotion to the task, his sense of fair play and justice are executed skillfully.
Hillel Meltzer as Fogg’s servant Passepartout truly embodies the acrobat, which was touted in his submitted credentials for employment. His ability to twist himself around and about is amazing to watch. His facial expressions are equally facile.