If Arizona Theatre Company’s productions sometimes don’t feel Arizona-y enough, Around the World in 80 Days should balance that out. It features hyperlocal wunderalterkocker Jon Gentry as Passepartout, along with Valley-nurtured perennial fave Bob Sorenson and the talented and beautiful Kyle Sorrell (Xanadu) and Yolanda London, directed by Childsplay founder David P. Saar.
Jules Verne’s inherently steampunky novel, scripted by Mark Brown, moves at breakneck speed, particularly for its cast of five (including perfectly good but non-Arizonan actor Mark Anders as Phileas Fogg), three of whom play 29 characters altogether. We do object to the plot, which zooms across North America without visiting Arizona at all. But the story’s biggest surprise is that, despite containing none of the elements of Verne’s other works that defined science fiction, it does involve time travel, kinda sorta.
Remain unspoiled if you can, and partake of the Phoenix run through Sunday, April 13, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Thursday, March 27’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 602-256-6995 for tickets, $40.50 to $72.