Aug
14
2009

Steampunk Milwaukee style

An event that looks to be the social affair of the year (1872 that is)1 will take place on Thursday, August 20 when the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre hosts Steampunk Night in conjunction with that evening’s performance of “Around the World in 80 Days”.

Steampunk Night
Photo Source: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

In Which Steampunk Comes to Milwaukee2
Steampunk Night promises to impart the very latest in 19th century music, theater and entertainment.3 The evening commences at 6:00 pm with pre-show activities hosted by Steam Century. At 7:30 pm the Chamber Theatre will present Mark Brown’s stage version of Jules Verne’s recent (1863) novel “Around the World in 80 Days”. And following the show, Eli August — a Steampunk band from the American frontier town of Madison, Wisconsin — will perform using the very latest 19th century musical instruments.

In Which A Visitor From East India Joins Our Author
My companion for the evening will be one Priyadarshini Sengupta Barnes, recently returned from Calcutta, British capital of colonial India.4 Priyadarshini (or Priya, as she is know in the more distinguished social circles) will entrance other guests with her stories of Bengal tigers, the effort to construct a memorial to Queen Victoria in central Calcutta and other wonders of the subcontinent.

In Which Phileas Fogg Bursts Onstage
“Around the World in 80 Days” proffers the tale of wealthy adventurer Phileas Fogg and his manservant Passepartout who — pressed into action by a gentleman’s wager — set out to circle the world in the amazing brief span of just 80 days. In the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s dramatization of Fogg’s adventure, 5 actors portray 39 characters scattered across 7 continents.

So if you are seeking an adventure of a most sophisticated yet humorous kind, employ any means of conveyance — steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, airships or elephants5 — and journey to Milwaukee for Steampunk Night on August 20.


Notes:
  1. Yes, this post is being written entirely in character, so hang on to your goggles and top hat! The footnotes, however, will pull you out of your suspension of disbelief and provide 21st Century perspective and details. []
  2. If you are familiar with the original Jules Verne novel, you’ll recognize this as the terminology Verne used for his novel’s chapter titles. []
  3. Given that I read — and occasionally write — Steampunk fiction, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a Steampunk event right here in Milwaukee. []
  4. At the time of this post, Priya is still in India visiting her family. Ironically over the course of her trip to India and return to Milwaukee, Priya actually will have traveled around the world. Her total travel time for that circumnavigation will be somewhat less than 80 hours … and far less than 80 days. Phileas Fogg would be astounded. []
  5. With the exception of airships, all of these modes are transportation appear in Verne’s original “Around the World in 80 Days”. []
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