I should have seen it sooner. I should have seen it NINE OR TEN TIMES. THAT is how much this production delighted me. It's only running tomorrow through Sunday, and then it's gone, so catch it: http://ping.fm/meXtG
Dramatist Mark Brown's view to the whirlwind world of Phileas Fogg and the devoted Passepartout is Exactly What I Like. It's huge, broad, and hilarious, stretching the dynamics to the extreme on one end so the tenderness of quieter moments is what's surprising.
The sets are inventive and applause-deserving, the clothes charming, the 5-person cast precious and screamingly hilarious in their 39 or so different characters.
I sat in the second row and laughed my face -- yes -- COMPLETELY OFF. But the third row was ALSO full of loud laughers, so it was charming not to be the only howler in the house.
Matt Daniels really is a ride by himself, playing EXCEEDINGLY well with others, but I think you'll agree his Raised Eyebrow should probably get separate, equal billing, and he should probably obligate it by special contract to not go off and have its own career. Dang. I definitely get the Matt Daniels thing, everyone. Very. Serious. Eyebrow. His focus is laser-hot, and every tableau exploits his delightful height, balanced proportions and long strides to immense general benefit. And after you see it, and we meet for a chat-chug-n-chew to yammer about how much we've loved the show, I know we'll jointly bellow, "THE TEACUP!"
Everyone in the show's brilliant, even the Noh-style visible leather-apronned begoggled helpers, even the scrumptious inanimate objects I coveted everywhere from the set. I enjoyed every player's heightened style, broad deliveries, ensemble big-picture listening, set-slams on the cheep laffs, and, oh, all of it! Milwaukee Scene Types will say, "Oh, IT'S TOO TRENDY AND OVERDONE to love Norman Moses," and that is Just Too Bad, 'coz he's hilarious, and you're all just going to have to get over yourselves and laugh. He Has Skeelz. Also, if Passepartout goes missing, check my handbag. I'm just saying.
See it! And then let us go have a good bellow about it. See it before it's gone!