There are many plays opening on Broadway this fall, mostly limited engagements of well-known plays with starry casts. But if justice prevails, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” an exhilarating stage version of Mark Haddon’s 2003 young adult/mystery novel, will emerge from the onslaught of openings as the surprise, must-see hit.
The Broadway production is based on the still-running London production with a new American cast.
The novel is a first-person narrative of Christopher, an English teenage boy with Asperger’s who is also a math genius. In fact, the chapters are ordered with prime numbers, so chapter 113 is followed by 127 and so forth.
It begins with the mysterious killing of a dog from next door. Christopher’s attempts to solve the mystery of who killed the dog, which are opposed by his loving but frustrated father, unintentionally lead to questions about his mother, who supposedly died of a heart attack a few years earlier.
While the storytelling is consistently gripping and heartfelt, what makes the stage version (written by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott) especially satisfying is how it preserves Christopher’s intensely focused perspective.
The highly technical and theatrical staging is perfectly in synch with the narrative, ultimately creating an absolutely engrossing and exciting theatrical experience.
Actors from the ensemble will observe Christopher and take part in his adventures, at one point even lifting him into the air. Projections, including numbers that seem to fly through the air, are used to reflect Christopher’ impressions and state of mind.
Alex Sharp, 25, a recent Juilliard grad, delivers an extraordinary performance as Christopher. He is thoroughly engaged physically and emotionally in portraying this distinctive youth.
If you go: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” plays an open run at the Barrymore Theatre. 243 W. 47th St.,curiousonbroadway.com.