Thursday, September 11, 2014
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Alex Sharp (Christopher Boone), a 2014 graduate of Julliard, (that's about as fresh-meat as you can get!) helms the production with pure genius and what appeared to me to be a virtually flawless and powerful performance. That's quite an achievement given he's playing a 15 year old boy with the challenge of Asperger's Syndrome on the journey well beyond his wildest dreams. In the approximate 2h:30m production he is never off the stage - holding court on his journey just about the entire time. His way.
What's on stage, you ask? Well, it's empty, black, and filled with all sorts of lighting and small props that get pulled out of tiny hidden compartments all over the floor and the walls. The walls are mostly covered with a grid-like design of lights, providing what I thought was a map - like the fabric of Christopher's brain and his thought process. Plenty of projections augmented an already complicated design and with a few moving parts, a few mind-blowing effects such as a full-stage sized escalator leaped to life. There was perhaps more choreography than in some musicals. Ne'er a song was uttered in this fast-paced drama, however. Lighter moments of comedy - plenty, but the focus was firmly on Christopher's journey, the inner voice in his head, his play (which is what he wrote and what we are hearing), and that of his family. Pure Genius.
The multitude of other characters were played with equal aplomb by Francesca Fardany, Ian Barford, Enid Graham, Helen Carey, Mercedes Herredo, Richard Hollis, Ben Horner, Jocelyn Bioh, and David Manis.
I was clearly not only the only one impressed. The true New York audience (it was only the second preview and that's when we go to catch the good ones early) leaped to their feet in unison before the cast even stepped out for their bows. It was that good. I was that impressed. Really impressed. Dare I say at this early juncture, I'd gamble that Mr. Sharp will be a shoe-in for Tony nominee at his tender age. It really was that good.