Wednesday, August 9, 2017

'The Curious Incident' Is A Visual Spectacle

Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone in the touring production of
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Darlene Donloe

As the crowd enters the Ahmanson Theatre to take their seats, the stage is bare except for a dog with a shovel sticking out of its body.

It’s a disturbing scene, but then it’s supposed to be.

When The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time actually starts - a young boy named Christopher (Adam Langdon) finds the dog and is wondering just how it happened. When the dog’s owner walks up and finds 15-year-old Christopher leaning over the dog – she assumes he’s the one who killed it. Of course, Christopher, who is autistic, professes his innocence and vows to find the real culprit. While he’s a mathematical genius, Christopher finds walking down the street, being touched or holding a conversation, to be an extraordinary challenge.  That being said, he has a fierce wit and great comedic timing, even when he’s not trying.

During his search Christopher, who is exceptionally intelligent, must also deal with emotional and dramatic family issues that send him on a journey of personal discovery. This is, essentially, Christopher’s coming-of-age story.

Langdon, a Juilliard graduate, is exceptional in a high-energy, focused and sometimes breathless performance.

Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone (center) with the cast 
The special effects are incredible, making this show a pictorial masterpiece and a true original. Of course, the visuals add texture and another dimension (literally) to the story.  It doesn’t overpower or sidetrack the forward movement of the story.

It’s easy and obvious why this show is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning Best Play. It’s a stunning and impressive play, especially as it shows inventive ways of immersing the audience in the point of view of how an autistic views and experiences the world.

Fantastic performances all-around from the stellar cast of this touring production. 

Marianne Elliott’s (Tony winner War Horse) direction is solid keeps the story moving -literally. There are so many moving parts that the senses don’t know where to look.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, directed by Marianne Elliott, a new play by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, stars Adam Langdon, Benjamin Wheelwright, Gene Gillette, Maria Elena Ramirez, Felicity Jones Latta, Kathy McCafferty, Francesca Choy-Kee, Amelia White, Brian Robert Burns, Josephine Hall, Robyn Kerr, Geoffrey Wade, John Hemphill, Tim Wright, J. Paul Nicholas and Tim McKiernan.

L-R: Gene Gillette as Ed and Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone
Kudos to the production team, including production designer and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie, Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, lighting designer and Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, choreographer Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly.  Music is 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.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, The Ahmanson, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles; 8 p.m., Tues-Fri.; 2 and 8 p.m., Sat.; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, through September 10, 2017; no performance on Mondays; $25-$130;, 213 972-4400.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time gets an E (excellent).

All photos by: ©2016 Joan Marcus 

No comments:

Post a Comment