Theater Review by Howard Steven Frydman
Production: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Theater: Connecticut Repertory Theater
Playwright: Simon Stephens
Director: Kristin Wold
His name is Tyler Nowakowski – Actor. I have just seen a new “Star” in the theatrical heavens- this star on the horizon is Mr. Tyler Nowakowski! It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, like a comet streaking overhead-one must take note of an amazing, impressive actor and his talents. I ask you to celebrate this young man and his brilliant performance as “Christopher” in the Connecticut Repertory Theater’s inspired production of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, and directed by Kristin Wold.
I seldom say this about a production, but the CRT’s “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, is absolutely flawless in its stage production, casting, scenic design, stage projections and I even took note of the puppetry of the “Dog in the Night” – “Wellington” and Christopher’s companion pet rat “Toby”. For a person who is often known to nod off once in a great while at darkened theaters- Director Kristin Wold’s deft direction and Mr. Tyler Nowakowski flawless portrayal held my attention throughout this 2 hour and 30 minute production. In fact, numerous times during the play, I took note of the audience’s reaction, especially my theater mates in row “L” – like myself, we are head in hand, leaning forward in our seats, steadfastly amazed and so delighted by this production and what we are resolutely beholding upon the lighted stage.
Originally written in 2003 by British writer Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’s” title actually comes from a 1892 short story “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” which featured super sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens in 2012, the play premiered at the Cottesloe Theatre at the Royal National Theater in London before transferring to the Apollo Theater in the West End. In 2013 the production won 7 Olivier Awards including “Best New Play”. It’s Broadway debut was in 2014 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, and the following year received a Tony Award for “Best Play”.
Christopher John Francis Boone, (portrayed by Tyler Nowakowski – hmmm? – Where have I heard that name before) is a 15 year old boy, who told that his mother Judy has died two years earlier (Margot White) is currently living with his father Ed Boone (Joe Cassidy) in a small apartment in Swindon, England. It is understood by his reaction to being touched, that the young boy, though brilliant in math, has Asperger’s syndrome – a form of high-functioning autism. The play commences with Christopher finding his neighbor, Mrs. Shear’s (Elizabeth Jebran) dog, Wellington, murdered. Initially accused of the dog’s death, Christopher takes on the case of the “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” to investigate who the real culprit is and thus begins an adventure that leads him to truths about himself and the world around him.
As stated in my initial remarks, I was extremely impressed by this highly emotional production presented by the Connecticut Repertory Theater- major kudos to its director Kristin Wold – masterfully mounted. Though comprised with an exemplary array of talented actors, including Joe Cassidy, Margot White, Thalia Eddy, Elizabeth Jebran, Mauricio Miranda, Justin Jager, Matthew Antoci, Alexandra Brodowski and Nicolle Cooper, it is the play’s pivotal character of “Christopher” and the Actor who portrays him that makes or breaks this production. Thus the coveted “Howard Noticed You Award” is presented to Mr. Tyler Nowakowski – Sir your performance IS Tony worthy and we and those who viewed your performance here at CRT look forward to not only your next performance but what the future holds in store for you! Enjoy!
This production will take place at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theater located on the campus of the University of Connecticut. CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT. For ticket information or to purchase tickets by phone: 860-486-2113 or visit online at www.crt.uconn.edu.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at email@example.com.