As a rule, we rarely review high school theater, but the Trinity Prep Players’ production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
is worth making an exception for.
Mark Haddon’s award-winning mystery novel about Christopher Boone, a British teen on the autism spectrum who investigates a pet murder, was made into a critically acclaimed Broadway play. The tour of that show reached Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center a couple seasons back, and I thought these local students equaled or exceeded the professionals in several key way.
Despite having to squeeze a large cast into the intimate Brown Venue, director Janine Papin manages to retain many of the original staging’s most memorable elements, from the regimented linear movements and body lifts to the irritating light and sound effects that effectively let the audience inside Christoper’s agitated mind. The 55-minute script (edited down with authorization from the full-length version to fit the Fringe format) retains all the key plot points while trimming all fat, and though character introductions and transitions are shortchanged, the narrative is clearer and more concise.
Most importantly, Josh Lefkowitz (who was the young co-star of 1969: Stonewall
and Wanzie With a Z
) is exceptional in the challenging lead role, creating a consistent body language for expressing Christopher’s anxieties, without allowing the external tics to feel forced or artificial. He even does a spot-on English accent, as do most of his fellow performers, which is no easy feat for many adult actors. This Fringe, Trinity Prep isn’t only providing a peek at the festival's future; it’s offering a shockingly satisfying retelling of a riveting tale, regardless of the company’s collective age.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Trinity Prep Players
Winter Park FL
Ages 13 and up
Friday, May 17th 5:30 PM
Saturday, May 25th 8:45 PM
Sunday, May 26th 1:15 PM