“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” Review - Tony Award-winning riveting production!

 

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”, a new Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens, and adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, opened on August 02, and will continue through September 10, 2017. It is superbly directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott, and presented by Center Theatre Group

The story starts with the discovery by Christopher Boone (Adam Langdon) a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, of the murder by garden pitchfork, of Wellington, a neighbor’s dog. At first he is accused of being the killer. Determined to find out who was responsible for the dastardly deed, Christopher analyzes the kind of person who would kill a dog and embarks on a sleuthing mission. We are thrown alongside him into an ensuing rough and emotional ride of trials and triumphs.

 

Adam Langdon and the cast. Photo Joan Marcus

 

Unable to tell a lie, Christopher emphatically states, “I always tell the truth,” several times throughout his riveting, believable performance as a boy who, though lacking in social skills, has an amazing mathematical talent. He thinks and sees in numbers.

 

Adam Langdon and Maria Elena Ramirez. Photo Joan Marcus

 

Adam Langdon, Felicity Jones Latta, Maria Elena Ramirez. Photo Joan Marcus

 

Christopher attends a school for children with special needs, and has a sympathetic teacher, Siobhan (Maria Elena Ramirez), who cultivates his talent for math.  Her voice in his head helps him find some order, and to calm himself by counting and reciting numbers in the ways she has patiently instructed him to do.

 

Gene Gillette and Adam Langdon. Photo Joan Marcus

 

 

 

Marie Elena Ramirez. Photo Joan Marcus

 

Any human touch leads Christopher to screaming meltdowns. He is able, sometimes hesitantly and with averted eyes, to endure a hand-to-hand touch with his parents, who profess love but are obviously pained and frustrated. He states, “I find people confusing. When people tell you what to do it is usually confusing and doesn’t make sense.” This leaves you pondering about the human condition, each person’s role and ability to cope, or not, with it, and how to convey love and emotion without physical connection.

 

Gene Gillette, Adam Langdon and cast. Photo Joan Marcus

 

After quarrelling with his father, Ed (Gene Gillette), Christopher uncovers some uncomfortable family truths, and decides to go to London to find his departed mother, Judy (Felicity Jones Latta). The journey is a nightmare for Christopher, who is unable to cope with seemingly normal human maneuvers.

 

Adam Langdon. Photo Joan Msrcus

 

The stage is a three-sided black box that is a perfect mathematical grid. A network of white lines divides it into smaller black boxes, and high-tech tools employ extremely effective use of the grid design with brilliant lighting, staging, and innovative synchronization by the entire design team.

 

Adam Langdon and cast. Photo by Joan Marcus

 

Rapid-moving scene changes that defy description are played out as we accompany Christopher on his venture. All the steps of his breathtaking, life-changing journey are captured with flashes of frenetic people, scattered written words, train station names, graceful dance-like lifts and moves, and a cacophony of strong, and often disturbing, sound effects.

Superbly directed by Marianne Elliott, Langdon, a Juilliard drama graduate, excels in his role as Christopher, and is fully supported by a talented cast. He absolutely captures the nuances and behavioral patterns of those challenged with Asperger’s Syndrome. I highly recommend this show and congratulate the entire team for achieving this level of excellence. Don’t miss it!

The cast of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” includes Juilliard graduate Adam Langdon as Christopher, Gene Gillette (“War Horse”) as Ed, Felicity Jones Latta (“Metamorphoses”) as Judy, Maria Elena Ramirez (“Fish in the Dark”) as Siobhan and Amelia White (“The Heiress”) as Mrs. Alexander. The ensemble includes Brian Robert Burns (“War Horse”), Francesca Choy-Kee (“Disgraced”), Josephine Hall (“Les Liaisons Dangereuses”), John Hemphill (“School of Rock”), Robyn Kerr (“Dark Vanilla Jungle”), Kathy McCafferty (“Dada Woof Papa Hot”), Tim McKiernan (“War Horse”), J. Paul Nicholas (“Blood and Gifts”), Geoffrey Wade (“Translations”) and Tim Wright (“Curious Incident”/Broadway). Benjamin Wheelwright (“Curious Incident”/Broadway) will play Christopher at certain performances.

The production is designed by Tony Award winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph, and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee, CSA and Cindy Tolan, CSA.

Photos by Joan Marcus

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is

Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Tickets for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online  or by visiting the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $25 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.

Performances opened on August 02, and will continue through September 10, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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