Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Seattle

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Stands Alone In Its Brilliance
National Tour
Review by David Edward Hughes


Adam Langdon
Photo by Joan Marcus
There are certain times that we critics don't want to give away too much about the plot of a play, especially when it is the key to an ingenious mystery. And without a doubt The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is all that and a universe more. This deservedly Tony Award winning (and oddly in this mega-musicals era, financially successful) play is adapted by Simon Stephens from an amazing Mark Haddon novel about a teen, who appears to be on the autism spectrum, comes upon a tragic, cruel act against his beloved pet and plays, in his own savant sort of a way, detective on the case. And to say more I would be saying too much, at least about the plot. In so far as the production, it is hard to say enough.

Christopher John Francis Boone knows the names of all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. When an act of violence occurs to a beloved family pet, Christopher sets off on the most unique detective investigation ever, and we, along for the wild roller coaster ride of this entertainment, better hang on for the dear life.

A nearly perfect cast is led by the astonishing Adam Langdon as the pivotal character (played alternatively by Benjamin Wheelwright), 15-year-old Christopher Boone. This mid 20-something actor establishes himself from his character's first exasperated, frightened and angry appearance with an authentic, detailed portrayal of someone on the autism spectrum facing a mystery that will change. I know this for a fact as my god son Adam is one of these rare beautiful individuals.

The way director Marianne Elliott directs this staggeringly beautiful, funny, whimsical, shocking and melancholy play indicates she is someone we will be hearing from for a long while. His angry blue collar widower father Ed is immersively played by commandingly dark-hued Gene Gillette, who was the weak spot in the performance I saw due to a thick accent unaided by iffy opening night sound issues. Chris' championing teacher Siobhan is warmly enacted by Maria Elena Ramirez. Felicity Jones gives an appropriately haunting and beautiful take on Chris' mum. The rest of the hard-working cast that never seems to sweat or tire out, fashions the world we see through the eyes of the by turns droll, icy and quixotic Langdon.

The production on every level is mind-blowingly beautiful. I was ready after the deservedly spontaneous standing ovation to watch the show again, in the way one used to stay in a movie house and watch a film several times in a day. The show is here just till Sunday, and there is no time to waste getting thee to the Paramount. Go on, scoot!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs through Sunday July 30, 2017, at the Paramount Theatre. For tickets or information contact Seattle Theatre Group online at www.stgpresents.org. For more information on the tour, visit curiousonbroadway.com.


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