Through November 14|
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME All for One Theatre Productions/Shea’s 710
Okay, a broken family, a bright but tortured kid who is probably on the autism spectrum and life in the vast suburbs of London.
It really sounds like a patched together TV movie for the Lifetime Channel or Hallmark.
Actually <b play is based on a hit novel, regarded as among the best, so far, in this century.
The title comes from A Sherlock Holmes short story, “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” and this play is something of a detective story.
It’s about Christopher (Samuel Fesmire), a special ed kid who has problems with his father and his community and has few supporters beyond teacher Siobahn (Sara Kow Falcone) who gives him a loose leash, recognizing some of his problems.
The entire production was only hours away from Opening Night in this theater, when COVID shut everything down 20-months ago.
It’s from the alliance of local theaters behind All for One, able to use the really high-tech production systems needed to stage the play, increasingly common in local theaters, like the giant screen used for several seasons on the Kavinoky.
The show also benefits from good direction by David Oliver, who studied and worked in England and understands the geographic and social context of the entire story.
It’s a story of a young man who finds a dog murdered in his back yard by a garden fork who is probed by police as the perpetrator.
The police in his hometown of Swindon can’t prove he did it but suspect he did and give him a legal “Caution” as a warning, after Christopher hits one cop.
A lot of officers show up in the story and most don’t handle him very well and he reciprocates.
Christopher turns into a young Sherlock Holmes by deciding to find out who killed the dog and clear his name.
Be careful what you look for, you don’t know what you will find.
He’s at that age when there are father and son tensions and there are secrets.
Searching his own home turns up letters to him from his mother, dated after she was supposed to have died.
Taking the return address, the youth who doesn’t like noise and doesn’t like to be touched steals his father’s bank card and heads for London to find his Mum.
He discovers a tale of adultery, the rush of a giant metropolis and his own brilliance.
Christopher also finds a degree of peace with his parents and his own dog, whose real name isn’t credited.
And, if you had trouble with any level of geometry in high school, there is a surprise lesson for you.
Some of the area’s best actors are in this show.
They have to be good because most are playing multiple roles, racing off the stage to change costumes and head back onto the stage as someone else.
Fesmire towers above them all in this role but there are noticeably good performances from Anthony Alcocer as Dad Ed, Wendy Hall, Ben Michael Moran, Kow Falcone and Pamela Rose Mangus.
Director Oliver also has his own Mr. Spock in Christopher Ash, credited as projections designer.
Lynne Koscielniak gets credit for lighting and scenic design.
This is a show for the large space of Shea’s 710.
“Dog” is the kind of show you remember because there are so many broken families, bad relationships and bright kids with problems.
That’s all important.
But, what you should remember after seeing “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is that it’s a heck of a story which is getting a wonderful production.
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