An Eventful London Run
A new import from London’s National Theatre has begun performances on Broadway. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time took London by storm, first playing at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre from August 2, 2012 until late October 2012, when it transferred to the West End’s Apollo Theatre. It ran at the Apollo until December 19, 2013, when the theatre’s roof collapsed, forcing performances to be postponed until June 24, 2014, when the show re-opened at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre, where it is still presently running. These incidents aside, the show has been proved a veritable hit. It was nominated for eight Olivier Awards (the British equivalent of the Tonys), winning seven: those for Best New Play, Best Director for Marianne Elliott, Best Actor for Luke Treadaway, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Nicola Walker, Best Sound Design, Best Lighting Design, and Best Set Design. Now beginning September 10, 2014, this production under the helm of Marianne Elliott has transferred to Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Its official opening night is scheduled for October 5, 2014.
A Sense of Wonder
Adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, Pornography, On the Shore of the Wide World), the play is based on a novel of the same name written by Mark Haddon in 2003. It is the story of a 15 year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who is supposed to have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome, although this is never referred to in the play. Rather, the character exhibits the characteristic asocial behavior of this condition, coupled with a remarkable sense of wonder regarding everything he experiences. The incident denoted in the play’s title involves the murder of the dog of one of Christopher’s neighbors. A sort of self-made Sherlock Holmes, Christopher takes it upon himself to solve this mystery. Along the way, he ends up discovering facts about his own family that take him on an unexpected journey. The play received intense acclaim for its delicate performances and brilliant design and staging. It looks poised to perform as well in the transatlantic transfer as did its National Theatre predecessor, War Horse.
The American Cast
As the show is still running in the West End, it has transferred to the United States with an entirely new cast. The principal role of 15 year-old Christopher is portrayed by 25 year-old recent Juilliard graduate Alex Sharp, making his Broadway debut. Sharp has been documented saying that this was one of his mother’s favorite books, and thus he has long been very familiar with its story. The rest of the main cast members are Helen Carey (Tony nominated for London Assurance), Ian Barford (August: Osage County), Francesca Faridany (Man and Boy), and Enid Graham (Dinner at Eight). Additional cast members include Ben Horner (War Horse), Mercedes Herrero (The Laramie Project), Jocelyn Bioh (Off Broadway’s An Octoroon), Richard Hollis (Hit-Lit), and David Manis (War Horse). Furthermore, the role of Christopher will occasionally be played by Taylor Trensch (Matilda the Musical). Like in London, the show is directed by Marianne Elliott, who also directed War Horse.