Around the World in 80 Days

In Around the World in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg is Jules Verne’s 19th-century British superhero in possession of a curious superpower: the ability to overcome the inconveniences and impediments of travel. He can make tight connections without breaking a sweat. Like any good superhero, he comes equipped with character flaws (punctiliousness bordering on mania), a trusty sidekick (his loyal French servant Passepartout), and nefarious foe (the bumbly but travel-thwarting Detective Fix). The five-actor cast deftly and comically renders no fewer than 34 multiethnic roles during Fogg’s breathless, wager-driven blaze around the globe. As priggishly fearless Fogg, Ryan Childers is part Bond, part Tintin; his unwavering determination (and bribes) endear him to everyone he meets, including the lovely lady he (well, actually Passepartout) rescues from a flaming pyre in India. Chauvinism abounds and nobody escapes Verne’s cultural jibing, but Fogg & Co.’s steamship and railroad journey results in a kind of maturity that jet-setters (and modern space tourists) rarely attain. (Through June 20.) MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m. Starts: May 20. Continues through June 20, 2009

 
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