Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Curious AND Spectacular

There are times when you go see an award-winning London transfer on Broadway and you fear it won't hold up to the hype. I mean, Enron was a hit in London, but didn't do so well in NYC. But the moment that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time started (and I let go of the fact that some accents seemed to go in and out), I was instantly transported. Directed by Marianne Elliott that brought us another gem War Horse and based on the novel by Mark Haddon, the play follows the life of a 15 year old boy who tries to solve the mystery of who killed a neighbor's dog. I was curious if I would be pulled in to the story since I had not read the book. I have heard from friends in the autism community how much they loved and related to the book and I'll admit - I saw signs of my own godson up on that stage. But I think even without a personal connection to the spectrum (which, btw, is never mentioned in the play), you can't help but be captivated by how inventive the storytelling and staging are in this production.

You get on a train that never stops - especially for the lead actor played brilliantly by Alex Sharp who just graduated from Juilliard this past May. He never leaves the stage, he fully embodies this character of a teen that doesn't like being touched and is on a quest to solve a mystery. He never goes overboard into "Rainman" territory or "Gilbert Grape" - he makes Christopher is own person and yet I know many parents out there that will see their own child on stage. I read one review that seemed to be longing for a Lifetime movie and wanted more emotion. However, that is part of the amazement of it all - the lack of emotion for those that fall on the spectrum and Mr. Sharp plays it impeccably. 

I don't want to say too much about how inventive the staging is, but let me just say the ensemble is used as more than actors - they are EVERYTHING and choreographed in ways one is not used to seeing in a play. A special shout out to the actors portraying the teacher and the father - both of which were standouts for me. The lights, sound, sets all add to the magic as we crawl inside the mind of this teen and experience the world through his eyes.

I understand we all bring our own backgrounds when we attend the theater and anyone that knows me as an author understands I have a connection with autism, but even without that - you will be blown away by how this evening is handled. If I had anything negative to say - it would be I wish it were a tad bit shorter…if not for the audience, for that poor actor working his butt off every night on stage. But hey, I'm sure he'll be up against some heavy hitters come Tony time next year: and he will deserve to be there.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more!! It was really BRILLIANT!!