^
Keep Houston Press Free
4
| Stage |

Five Actors Go Around the World in 80 Days at Alley Theatre

Imagine a play in which five people divvy up 42 characters and only one of the actors plays the same role throughout. That's what's going on in Mark Brown's adaptation of Jules Verne's classic book Around the World in 80 Days, about to start at the Alley Theatre. 

"There are quick changes and transitions between characters that are faster than I’ve ever done in a play,” says actor Jay Sullivan (The Foreigner, All My Sons, The Elephant Man), who plays 19 distinct characters in this retelling of the story of Phileas Fogg, who wagers that he can circumnavigate the world as Victorians knew it in just 80 days.

The challenge for the actors, of course, is how to move at manic pace but somehow make it all comprehensible. Only Todd Waite as Phileas Fogg gets to play one role; everyone else at least doubles, Sullivan says.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

“There’s five of us telling this enormous story with as much efficiency, few people and as little waste as possible.”

Visiting actor/director Mark Shanahan (The Hollow) has the helm. “He has the right spirit for this play,” Sullivan says. “It’s old school playing like backyard imagination — turning the swing set into the pirate ship kind of playing. There's a joyfulness. It's not juvenile but unself-consciously fun. Our motto for the production is that we're going to magically do the impossible.”

Performances of Around the World in 80 Days are scheduled for March 4 through April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays. 615 Texas.  For information, visit alleytheatre.org or call 713-220-5700. $26-$72.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.