On paper, you wouldn’t think the plot of the book of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would be a natural for a Broadway show. The tale of Christopher, an autistic teenage boy who sets out to solve a mystery, doesn’t seem like it would easily translate to the stage.
But translate it does and Curious shines in unexpected ways and brings the story of a very literal mind to life in a very fanciful manner. The cast don’t just portray characters – they also morph into props, becoming the doorway that Christopher steps through or a coat rack. And the set is very much a part of this production, as it becomes an eye into how Christopher’s mind works. Maps of London illuminate the set, a harrowing journey into the London underground comes alive and a mathematical equation is solved for the whole audience to see. Bunny Christie, Paule Constable and Finn Ross are to be commended for bringing the set to life, and Marianne Elliott as director brings the human touch to the show.
Alex Sharp has been earning stellar reviews in the lead role. At the matinee I attended Taylor Trensch portrayed Christopher and he was excellent. The role is a physically and mentally demanding one – as the actor has to take the audience into the mind of someone with autism. And the supporting cast brings warmth and jolts of anger and frustration as the family, professionals and strangers who help or hinder Christopher’s search for the truth. Stick around after the curtain calls as Christopher gives one last demonstration as to why we were rooting for him. AFW
Ethel Barrymore Theatre 243 W 47 Street
Ticket Price: $27 – $150
Discounts available through 11/23
Tickets on sale through March 2015
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission