Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea

Thursday, October 6, 2016

For those of us who grew up on the science fi ction stories of Jules Verne, it is great fun to see Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea on stage. This may well be the fi rst major Verne story to be dramatized in New York since the Orson Welles/Cole Porter musical of Around the World in 80 Days in 1946. The Canadian Kidoons/WYRD Production now having its U.S. premiere at the New Victory Theater intended “for everyone ages 8 +” is fi ne for adults as well as children. While the story is both watered down and leisurely told, this is a visually stunning adventure story and will hold the attention of the younger members of the audience.

Scripted by Craig Francis and Rick Miller who also directs and appears in the show, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea uses a narrator, Jules (played by Miller), named after the famous French author, who informs us that he is a graduate student in the seventh year of writing his dissertation on “Downward Spiral: Inevitable Collapse of Ocean Ecosystems.” He has an inspiration to turn back the clock to 1868 and retell his own version of the Jules Verne novel, his father’s favorite book, with his thesis adviser as Professor Claire Aronnax (Suzy Jane Hunt) and with himself as her assistant.

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