The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Gordon and I went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at the Ahmanson last night. Of course, Gordon wanted French onion soup so we stopped at Kendall’s before the show. The only thing going on at the Music Center was The Curious, etc. so our reservation was wasted. But we make a reservation anyway these days. We’re guaranteed a seat when a lot is going on. We even got our spot at the end of the bar–something which hasn’t happened in months. And we got to play Jeopardy! No CNN! No crap from the overlords who seem to have a fetish about the remote! And everybody at the bar played along. We were all equally stupid so we had a wonderful time. I don’t know why there was such a to-do about Jeopardy. Nobody wants to watch the news these days. Depressing and boring. Thanks to Chris, the bartender, for catering to the customers. He’s pretty good at Jeopardy so he probably enjoys playing, too.

We took our regular seats at the Ahmanson and admired the set–after being unsettled by the dead dog with a garden fork sticking out of him in the middle of the stage. That sight will get your onion soup roiling. I guess the dog stuck out–had a fork in him, get it?–because the rest of the set was so minimalist. Cubes served at furniture, cubbies in the set wall played refrigerators and drawers, and rear-screen projection served as a blackboard. The rest of the set was a grid of lights. The show is very imaginative, the choreography is exceptional, and the performances were stellar. From reading the playbill it seems that all of the actors are American but the play takes place in England so they all had wonderful Brit accents. The story is about an autistic kid who wants to find out who killed the dog who belonged to a neighbor. He becomes a detective even though he hates talking to people. He forces himself out of his comfort zone. As the play progresses we’re introduced to the main characters in the kid’s life. They’re normal but the kid seems to be the most un-screwed up of them all. I guess the point of the play is that we’re all good and bad at different things. The kid seems braver than his parents because he’s willing to move beyond the familiar to achieve what he wants. The parents are decent people but capable of great brutality. I guess the moral of the story is we all do the best we can with what circumstances we get. At the end of the play, the kid asks his teacher if he can accomplish anything he wants since he gets Ace Stars on his math tests. The teacher just holds up her hands without a word. Maybe. All any of us can do is try; there are no guarantees. It was a clever, touching production. Gordon stayed awake throughout so it gets no Zs on the snore scale. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see any nappers. And that says a lot because it’s a long show.

Oh, and they included a puppy at the end. Big “aawwwss” all around. I want the puppy.

This is the peace statue in front of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center.

 

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About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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