Saturday, December 24, 2016

REVIEW: Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time.

We saw The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time last night at the Oriental Theatre.  It was great, and I highly recommend it.

I'd read the book a 100 years long time ago, and remember loving it.  The story, about a brilliant boy on the autism spectrum, details the mystery surrounding the suspicious death of a dog, and the aftermath as the main character Christopher solves the problem.

The acting was superb all the way around , and the guy who played the boy was really pretty phenomenal. He's kind of a Youtube star, and he's really quite good and convincing.  Most of the ensemble players had worked on the national tour of War Horse. They were a really good ensemble. It makes sense, it's produced in part by the National Theatre of Britain (same as War Horse)

 The set and sound design were also amazing. The set, which was like a square grid, had LED lights all over it, and often when he got lost, he could follow his path like his pet rat. And the grid was on the floor as well as the backdrop, and they did all kinds of cool projections.

Here's a video/introduction to the show and some of the technical elements from the creators.  (The actor playing Christopher on tour is different than the boy in the video.)

The sound/projection design, when he got lost on his way to the train station was also so good-- a barrage of information and loudness. You got the sense of overwhelming that he felt.  There's also a harrowing moment when he is in the train tunnel with the Underground zooming on.  The set design was so brilliant for that as well.

I thought the ending of the show was weird-- it kind of didn't end as much as wound down-- but as I recall the book was kind of similar.

I would have loved to have seen this in a small black box theatre-- it would have been much more powerful than seeing it from the top of the giant and ornate Oriental Theatre. Not that we couldn't see, but I feel like the immersive nature of the show would have been so much more powerful. But alas, alack, Broadway touring economics favors giant theaters.

I highly recommend the show (but it ends tonight in Chicago) If you have a chance to see it elsewhere, you should. (Hartford, Pittsburgh, Dallas are the next three stops. Full touring schedule here:

Buy the book on Amazon
We took our 8-year-old son, as we couldn't find a babysitter and we had 3 tickets. It was recommended for age 10 and over, but we figured it would have to work.

For the most part it was fine, although the first line is "Oh fucking shit!"  Repeated a bunch of times.

I turned to my wife and said, "Oh no!"

But the language calmed down some.  There were still lots of swear words, and some talk of sex. But there was also a lot of comedy and a lot of kindness.

The death of the dog was not shown on stage (although the set does start with a puppet dog with a large fork in it) , and SPOILER ALERT there was a very cute live dog in the show.

 Overall, my son liked it and it kept his interest, Hopefully the swearing and the sex-talk went over his head. #badparents.

1 comment:

Kevin McKeever said...

We saw it on Broadway a few years back. Loved it and so did the kids.