The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (review)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (review)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (review)
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THE PLAY: A teenager on the autism spectrum sets out to find out who killed the neighbor’s dog and discovers much more.

 

THE PRODUCTION: I don’t usually compare productions, but I saw this show on Broadway, where the design was so dazzling that I didn’t recall much about the story. This production is a bit more focused. Michael Manocchio is convincing and compelling in the lead. The supporting cast (all of whom are excellent) plays numerous roles and even inanimate objects. Director Nathaniel Shaw has created complex stage pictures that sometimes challenge focus (apparently having actors lurk around the edges of the stage is one of his favorite tropes). The music cues in Act 1 are overbearing, but were better controlled later. Act 2 feels like a more cohesive narrative, perhaps because the focus is more on the emotional aspect and less on the visuals. As for the tech, there’s a glowing framework set (Tennessee Dixon) and lots of large and small projections (Daniel Brodie). Perhaps they’re meant to reflect the sensory overload that distresses the pivotal character, but all this flash distracts from an emotional thru line that could have created a more affecting impact. NOTE: Be sure not to rush out after the curtain call, because there’s a coda featuring an entertaining bit of math. Running time: 2:20

 

THE POINT: This production is a technical spectacle that sometimes distracts from the story, but it’s still an accomplished, interesting production.

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

At Virginia Rep thru 10/14

 

Emelie Faith Thompson, Raven Wilkes, Irene Ziegler, Michael Manocchio, Andrew Boothby, Sara Collazo, Adam Valentine and Matt Davies. Photo by Aaron Sutten.

1 Comment

  1. I absolutely loved it!

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