Spreckels Theatre Company opens their season with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel about a boy with ‘behavioral difficulties’ took England and Broadway by storm and earned multiple awards on both continents.
Christopher (Elijah Pinkham) is a 15-year-old boy with an unspecified behavioral condition (that some have read as autism or Asperger’s) living with his father in Swindon, England. He discovers a neighbor’s dog has been killed and, to his father’s consternation, decides to investigate. That investigation leads to another mystery culminating in a journey of self-discovery and affirmation.
Director Elizabeth Craven gets outstanding performances from her cast. Pinkham completely inhabits the incredibly difficult lead role. David L. Yen, as Christopher’s father, and Bronwen Shears as a woman in their lives are also superlative and there’s a “who’s who” of top-notch North Bay performers filling out the ensemble.
Excellent lighting, sound, and projection designs effectively transport you inside Christopher’s complex mind but they do occasionally overwhelm the story.
Minor quibbles aside, there’ll be ample reward for investigating this Incident on your own.
Rating (out of 5): ★★★★½
’The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ runs through September 30 at Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. Thu, 7pm; Fri & Sat; 8pm; Sun, 2pm. $16–$26. 707.588.3400. spreckelsonline.com
Photos by Jeff Thomas
An edited version of this review originally appeared in the North Bay Bohemian.