…without leaving your seat at The New Victory Theater!
by Waverly W., 10 years old

The Mom here! I will say it again – we see tons of Broadway shows, but seeing a show at New Victory Theater is definitely one of my favorite places to go! It’s stunningly beautiful, super easy to get to from pretty much anywhere, and they continuously offer high-quality shows that are surprisingly affordable.  Win-win-win! That’s why on a cold, gray rainy Sunday that also happened to be Mother’s Day, we knew that a trip “around the world” would not disappoint.  So we hopped on the Q train and 15 minutes later arrived at the theater, ready to be transported….around the world!

Waverly here! The day was definitely miserable outside, but it was a perfect day to escape and see Around The World in 80 Days.  My mom and I love slapstick and “British Humor” so we knew this would be a great way to spend an afternoon together.  And even though it was only two hours long, we felt like we had really traveled far away!  The story is about how Phileas Fogg and his silly sidekick, Passepartout (don’t worry, you’re not the only one who can’t pronounce his name!), have to travel around the entire world in 80 days, or Phileas will lose his fortune.  Somehow, this group of 8 actors take the audience to 8 countries by taking many trains and boats…and even an elephant!! And the actors become so many different people during the show, you will not believe it! 

Photo Credit: Robert Day

The music, the lights, the costumes, and the actors’ accents all make it really seem like you are going around the world with them!  There are many surprises, some funny audience interaction parts, and the funniest and coolest fight scenes you have ever seen, guaranteed!

Photo Credit: Robert Day

Do they make it in time? Of course I can’t tell you that – but I can tell you that you will be on the edge of your seat…and you will definitely not believe the ending! This was an awesome show with an awesome cast!

Speaking of the AWESOME CAST…I was lucky enough to Kid-Terview three  of them, check out our Q and A below!! They have some really interesting things to sway…I mean say….

Wow – what an amazing show! We felt like we actually went all around the world with you! How much time did you guys have to learn all those parts and learn how to dance and fight like that?

Andrew Pollard (Phileas Fogg): When we originally did the show we had around four weeks rehearsal. When we re-staged it for coming here we had just one week! 
Mike Hugo (Passepartout):
Thank you. It’s always great when people feel they traveled with us. When we first rehearsed the show six years ago, we had four weeks to learn it. This time around, we had a week to refresh since the last time we performed it was 18 months ago. 

Stefan Ruiz (Understudy who plays lots of parts!):  This time round we only had six days of rehearsals, but we had all done the show before & for the last tour we were given three weeks to rehearse and get everything perfect.

Speaking of the fight scenes, those were my favorite! How did you prepare for those? I’ve seen lots of fight scenes, but never anything as amazing as those!

AP: Working alongside a movement choreographer, Beverley Edmunds. And borrowing from martial arts films. The “distance” fighting was conceived because the show originally began its life in a “theater in the round” and having distance between opponents is the best way for a lot of people to see the action in a round setting 
MH:  We watched lots of clips from Kung Fu and Bollywood films and chose our favorite moves with the choreographer and director and the sound technician collected loads of sound effects. Then we built the fights up to create a sort of music cartoon feel. They are lots of fun to do. 
The fight scenes take a lot of practice – we go through them all before every show to make sure we are safe and to make sure all of the moves look like they are landing. When rehearsing, we would get closer (in contact) while fighting slowly to figure out what would have to happen to manipulate each other from a distance.

It was so funny when you guys were swaying side to side to make it seem like you were on a real ship! Everyone had absolutely perfect timing.  How did you guys do that? Did you get dizzy?

AP: We have a designated “sway monitor” in each scene who keeps the timing – then the others constantly check with that person and follow their speed. 
MH:  Lots of practice! We still do it in our sleep a little bit. 
The swaying is one of the harder things to keep in time. We usually have one person per scene who we take the sway from (sway captain), usually the person that can be seen by everyone and we will all try to stay in time with that person. It doesn’t make us dizzy but we do find ourselves swaying at random points in the day even when we are not performing.

There were so many characters (125, to be exact!) from so many different places in the play, but only 8 of you! Amazing!  What would you say was the most challenging part of having such a small cast act as such a large group of people?

AP: The amount of prep work needed backstage to facilitate all the costume changes is a lot! I always say you could sell tickets to see how the show works backstage! 
MH:  I am in awe of the quick costume changes the other actors have. To see them happen off stage is as precise and perfect as the routines on stage. 
I think the most challenging part of having so many characters for a small cast would be all of the costume changes, as sometimes we have less than ten seconds to do a whole change!

Finish this sentence:  Kids should see Around the World in 80 Days because…. (AP): it will stretch their imaginations and tickle their funny bones – and they can bring their parents who will have just as good a time! 
MH:  ….travel broadens the mind but it can take a long time. In our show, you laugh and cheer and feel moved and like you said, feel like you have traveled too, so, minds broadened in the comfort of a theater seat. 
SR…It is a celebration of a many different cultures and a story about friendship, love and humanity which is certain to put a smile on your face. 🙂


Thanks, guys, all of you put a smile on our faces, that’s for sure! Now it’s time to go around the world in 80 days, all without leaving your seat at The New Victory Theater!

Courtesy of New Victory Theater

Around The World in 80 Days only plays until May 19th — hurry up, time’s running out!

Get your tickets here: New Victory Theater 

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