Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ALL ABOARD! Around the World in 80 Days Makes at Stop at BFT

Birmingham Festival Theatre Brings Adaptation of Jules Verne Classic Tale

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – February 22, 2011 – Known for his many exciting adventure tales including 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and A Journey to the Interior of the Earth, Jules Verne is regarded by many as the father of science fiction. His tales of fantasy entertain audiences both young and old. That’s why Mark Brown’s adaptation of the classic Around the World in 80 Days is sure to delight Birmingham audiences of all ages. The show begins Thursday March 3, 2011.

Everyone is familiar with this timeless classic story. Phileas Fogg (played by Shawn Reese) enters into a wager with his colleagues in London that he cannot travel around the world, by boat, train, or any means necessary, in a timeframe of 80 days. He is joined by his loyal servant Passepartout (played by Chuck Evans) and a cast of characters they meet along the way.

“This is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the Jules Verne classic that captures the flavor of Fogg’s madcap dash around the globe,” says Janelle Cochrane, who is directing the play at BFT. “With five actors playing 39 characters, it’s a bit of Monty Python and The 39 Steps, as we follow Fogg and Passepartout on their adventures by rail, steamer, elephant and shoe leather across India, Asia and America.”

Local actors Holly Croney Dikeman, Chuck Evans, M. Bates Redwine, Shawn Reese and Kevin Van Hyning provide the audience with a passport to a world gone by, with the possibility of adventure or romance around every corner.

Around the World in 80 Days runs each Thursday, Friday and Saturday for three weeks at 8:00 p.m. beginning on March 3, with a matinee on Sunday, March 13, at 2:30 p.m. The show closes on March 19, 2011. Tickets are $20, $15 for students. For reservations, call the theatre at (205) 933-2383.

About Birmingham Festival Theatre
BFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. For almost 40 years, BFT has been bringing local audiences theatrical experiences that touch the heart and stir the mind. Our all-volunteer Board of Directors works to involve the community’s many talented directors, actors, designers and techies to produce the best in contemporary and classic theatre. For more information, go to

Pictured in photo: (Left to right) Shawn Reese, Holly Croney Dikeman, Chuck Evans, M. Bates Redwine, Kevin Van Hyning. More photos available at

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