20,000 Leagues Under the Sea takes audiences to a trippy underwater wonderland

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In Panamania’s new version of Jules Verne’s fantasy, Captain Nemo not only commands a submarine called Nautilus 20,000 leagues under the sea; he’s also living in a Utopia of theatrical technology.

“Our idea was to take a Victorian novel and create a pop-up book,” says Rick Miller, the co-producer, co-writer and director who also stars as Nemo in this startling new stage adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The show had its premiere at Daniels Spectrum theatre in Regent Park on opening weekend of the Pan Am Games, and its run will end with a Wednesday matinee. But in the minds of Miller and co-producer Craig Francis, this is just the start of something big. They are getting their act together and taking it on the road — as well as online.

Miller is known for solo shows such as Mac Homer (in which he mixed Macbeth with characters from the Simpsons). But he has also played roles in such mega ventures as Robert Lepage’s nine-hour Lipsynch (seen at Luminato in 2009). He even had the title role in the 2011 musical fi lm satire Mulroney the Opera. This Jules Verne underwater trip has a cast of four, but it feels like a mind-boggling departure from what we normally think of as intimate theatre.

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