The Mystery of The Ocean Deep
Lookingglass has done it again. They have given Chicago another family-friendly alternative to enjoy, and this one will keep even the most arduous little rascal amused with their new adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Seas.
In 1870 Jules Verne's thrilled us with his classic science fiction adventure novel “20,000 Leagues Under The Seas: A Tour of the Underwater World,” a book of the underworld where ships were disappearing all over the world, and it was believed to be caused by a gigantic sea monster.
Writer and Director David Kersnar and Althos Low who co-adapted this timeless tale place a new spin on it while taking us to another level of new depth in “20,000 Leagues Under The Seas.” Thinking out of the box while staging the impossible of this original masterpiece of modern science-fiction they delighted with splendid creativity used in tight spaces with puppeteers, chain, rope rigging, and acrobatics at ‘The Lookingglass Theater.
This legendary hardcore thriller has been around for over a century, and it still delivers with excitement and watery mystique of underwater marvels that will endure a mystical experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and by planting a black flag at the South Pole. The story unfolds when a terrifying sea monster (a giant squid) is spotted off the coast. Only this time instead of the renowned scientist French Professor Aronnax and his assistant Conseil being of the male gender they are females in this production played by Kasey Foster (Professor Morgan Aronnax) and Lanise Antoine Shelley (Brigette Conseil).
Professor Aronnax was invited to join the expedition on the Abraham Lincoln which she accepts, along with her fellow assistant Conseil and Canadian harpooner Ned Land (Walter Briggs) they are hired by the U.S. government to help put an end to this mystery and to explore and investigate.
Unfortunately, after searching for answers for months on the Abraham Lincoln, the ship has a collision throwing Prof. Aronnax, Conseil and Ned Land overboard. However, in their efforts to survive, the trio find themselves on the surface of the “monster” itself, which turns out to be a submarine.
The Captain of that submarine is Nemo (Kareem Bandealy) who commands the Nautilus a vessel that is way ahead of its time. They soon find themselves kidnapped and held under the dominion and the spell, of the mysterious Captain Nemo.
The captain who also identifies himself as Prince Dakkar, son of the Hindu Raja of Bundelkhand and a descendant of the Muslim Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Tipu of the Kingdom of Mysore is willing to destroy anyone or anything remotely human due to the murder of his family; which included his two young children.
The commander permits them to stay alive on his submarine as his permanent guests, meaning he will never allow them to leave and reveal his secrets.
During his meeting with Professor Aronnax Captain Nemo tells her that he read her book, which he proclaimed is useless with no real knowledge; however, he decides to begin a new voyage through the oceans and seas of the world to show the Professor where she lacked in her facts.
While being held captive, the trio learns a lot about the Nautilus and the enigmatic captain, as they circle the globe and encounter giant squids, bizarre sea creatures, and the monster that prowls in the deepest sea. However, Ned Land's primary focus is to escape and eventually, they do to tell the story.
David Kersnar directs this voyage with imagery of the deepest seas with modern day creativity; which allows the audience to be more engaging to witness the beauty of flying fish and other creatures 20,000 leagues under the seas. The choreography in the play is marvelous with physical sequences in motion that is fascinating to watch; especially in Act II.
The acting and theatrical performances in this play are enjoyable, creative and just delightful. The running time for the play is two hours, fifteen minutes, including one intermission. Make sure you get up and look at the awesome artwork on the boat platform.
We highly recommend that you come out and bring your family to join the timeless expedition that captivated so many for a century at the Lookingglass Theatre Company.
The cast includes:
Kareem Bandealy (Captain Nemo)
Thomas J. Cox (Gideon Spillet, J.B. Hobson/Guard/Boatswain)
Walter Briggs (Ned Land)
Kasey Foster (Professor Morgan Aronnax)
Joe Dempsey (Pencroff/Farragut)
Micah Figueroa (Harbert, Ensign Smith/Nicholas)
Edwin Lee Gibson (Cyrus Smith/Constable Weaver/Engineer)
Glenn-Dale Obrero (Kin-Fo, Mr.Drax/First Mate)
Lanise Antoine Shelley (Brigette Conseil)
Lookingglass Theatre Company Presents
20,000 Leagues Under The Seas
Adapted by: David Kersnar and Althos Low
From the books by Jules Verne
Directed by: Ensemble Member David Kersnar
May 23 – August 19, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow