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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is challenging, compelling, and beautiful at The Dio. (Review) June 18, 2022

Posted by ronannarbor in Uncategorized.

Photo courtesy The Dio Dining and Entertainment

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephens award-sweeping play (2013 London, 2015 Broadway) is receiving a gorgeous production at the Dio in Pinckney through mid-July. You should put it on your list of shows that need to be seen this summer — in fact, go to their website and reserve a table right now. 

If you read Mark Haddon’s book upon which the play is based, well, there’s a lot more to this story than there was to that story.

There are multiple stars of this lovely production – the first being Austin McCoy, who gives an exceptional performance as Christopher, a 15-year old with autism spectrum disorder who discovers a neighbor’s dog dead, and sets off to solve the mystery of what happened (which is really just a small part of this fascinating story). You seriously can’t take your eyes off of him, no matter what else is going on around him (often a lot).

The second star is Matt Tomich’s beautiful hand drawn moving projection set and lighting that propels the show quickly and creatively to school, home, train station, London, and even outer space (and later a ridiculously entertaining math problem).

The third star(s) is the outstanding ensemble cast that play, well, everyone else in Christopher’s world – even inanimate objects. Clever direction by Jared Schneider keeps things moving at a fast pace – but not so fast that you don’t find yourself thinking about these compelling stories as things unravel and then re-assemble again. (Anne Bauman, Rachael Cupples, Kelsi Fay, Andrew Gorney, Marlene Inman, Dante Justice, DOnovan Leary, Dan Morrison, and a particulary touching Monica Spencer).

You will quickly see why this play won all those awards. This production will also surely be award winning and it is beautiful.

Costumes are designed by Norma Polk and props by Eileen Obradovich. Steve DeBruyne serves as artistic director. Rachael Cupples also served as assistant director.

This is a challenging and compelling play to be sure. It’s never maudlin, but it doesn’t shy away from ASD challenges and at times it makes some of the scenes intense. There are no easy answers here, and Christopher’s final words in the show wake a feeling we normally don’t want to think about or talk about. Indeed, they don’t talk about it here — and let you decide on your own what you think — ultimately making this show a comedy, or a drama, or a tragedy, depending on your own take-away.

Dinner, as usual, is excellent – and the intermission dessert reminded me of visits with my grandma when I was a kid — altogether perfect for the meal at this show at the Dio! 

Highest Recommendation. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time continues through July 17th at the Dio, 177 E Main Street, Pinckney MI — tickets at www.DioTheatre.com

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