‘Around the World in 80 Days’ at Meadow Brook Theatre


By Shelby Tankersley

“Around the World in 80 Days,” a play based on Jules Verne’s famous novel, has made its way to the Meadow Brook Theatre for the first time in years.

The play features only five actors covering 39 roles. People who have already seen the play, along with those in it, are excited for others to experience the story in a new way.

“Around the World in 80 Days” is the story of a man named Phileas Fogg and his servant Passpartout. Pursued by a detective who repeatedly tries to arrest Fogg, they try to make it around the world in 80 days or less in order to win a bet. In the process, they ride an elephant, save a princess, escape from a tribe of Indians, battle a typhoon and more.

Dikka Berven, a French professor at Oakland University, went to the play with her husband and had a very positive experience.

“I’d recommend it to anybody who would like to laugh,” Berven said. “It was just so funny.”

She added that she thought the stage was beautifully tailored, and that “Everything is perfect to the time.”

As a French professor, Berven said her favorite character was Passpartout, Fogg’s silly French assistant. She said the actor, Matthew Schwartz, was fantastic, and that he was very funny and energetic.

Kara Kimmer, an Oakland alumna and actress in the play, plays four of the characters. Out of those, she said her favorite is Princess Aouda, Fogg’s love interest and who she calls the “chick of the show.”

Kimmer said that Aouda was so fun to be because “She signs up for an adventure she doesn’t think will happen,” and she works her way to becoming just as useful as the boys rather than a damsel in distress.

[The play] works for all ages — lots of clean fun,” Kimmer said.

Whether one is old or young, she said that there is something about this play for everyone to enjoy.

She also said that it “shows the lost form of live theater” since there is so few people creating what she called “the magic of theater.”

As a former Oakland student, Kimmer wanted to give a shout out to the people who work in the musical theatre program at the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at the university.

“They let you make mistakes and go for it,” she said. “That gives students courage.”

She also said that it was very exciting to be back here doing a show at Meadow Brook.

“Around the World in 80 Days” will be at Meadow Brook Theatre until Oct. 26. Those interested can find tickets and information at mbtheatre.org.