It’s rare that a show functions so perfectly in all elements of its production that it feels like the tech, movement, and acting were all created together. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a pure example of theater done just so, and it’s incredible.
Running now through April 9 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square, this illuminating story about fifteen-year old Christopher’s search for the truth is surprising and touching.
The story begins in Swindon, England with the death of Christopher’s neighbor’s dog, Wellington. Because he was found near the dog, Christopher is immediately blamed for this death-by-garden fork, so Christopher is out to clear his name!
In the process, the audience begins to understand that interacting with people is not his strong point. As someone who is “on the spectrum” of autism, Christopher sees the world a bit differently. The audience meets his neighbors as he bravely questions them about Wellington’s death. Unfortunately, we also meet the police as they misunderstand Christopher’s reactions to some of the stimuli around him.
What follows is a mystery that unravels into many twists after multiple turns, and an actual trip to London. Along the way, Christopher writes his story in a book and is accompanied by his pet rat, Toby. Note: Toby has his own Twitter account – @CuriousToby.
As adult figures in his life, his father, his teacher and his absent mother all figure into Christopher’s ultimate destination: the magic of real life.
The stunning intricacy with which the acting, movement and technical elements all weave together is breathtaking. While there is no “dancing,” there is a fluidity and flow to the choreography that ties the ensemble to the story like the notes arranged in a song. And although the story is rife with Christopher’s discord, it is also pulsing with the vibrancy of a million of his beautiful melodies.
The set, lighting and sound themselves are all visualizations of Christopher’s world. They mesh with each other to show his every brilliant thought, blazing fear, striking realization, and enormous joy. The tech is a cacophony of noise, flashes and gorgeous visions that always amaze, but never overpower or take away from the acting.
This show is a must-see, as it will envelop your senses as well as your heart. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” runs about 2 hours and 30 minutes (including an intermission) now through April 9 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square. Tickets are $10-$90 and can be purchased by calling 216-241-6000, or visiting www.playhousesquare.org.
“CURIOUS” FUN FACTS
• The entire idea of the lighting of Curious was based on things that Christopher would enjoy.
• The idea for the light up dots or pixels in the floor was based on the film The Matrix!
• There are around 373 lighting cues
• 5 tons of steel in the walls and floor
• 234 sound cues made up of 2,593 different element
• 12 radio mics used on the cast with Christopher and Siobhan wearing two each as a backup.
• All the music in the show is based on prime number sequences
• Toby the rat’s favorite treat is yogurt!