Christopher lives in Swindon, England, about 80 miles west of London. The titular incident is when Christopher finds his neighbor's dog murdered, stabbed with a garden fork (which is British for pitchfork). He is greatly disturbed, and vows to find out who the murderer is, even though it means leaving his comfort zone and talking to his neighbors. His mother died two years ago so he lives with his father, who tells him to drop it and not make trouble. But Christopher continues with his investigation, which leads to uncovering not only what happened to the dog, but even more pivotal truths about himself and his family. He successfully travels to London on his own, despite the overwhelming stimuli for a boy with his condition, and eventually returns home to take a special test in maths (which is British for math). Through his adventures Christopher finds that he's more capable than he thought he was, and as able to grow and learn as anyone.*
|Christopher (MacGregor Arney) and Siobhan (Regan Linton)
(photo by Rich Ryan)
|a moment of connection between Christoper (MacGregor Arney)
and his mom (Miriam Laube, photo by Rich Ryan)
MacGregor Arney is making his Mixed Blood debut, and gives a brilliant performance as Christopher. Through physicality (constant motion), voice (the accent, rapid speech pattern, and moaning when distressed), eye contact (none), and facial expressions, he becomes Christopher in a very real and believable way. As Siobhan, Regan Linton is a wonderful narrator and support for Christopher. Zack Myers returns to Mixed Blood after his debut in How to Use a Knife last month, and he's just lovely as Christopher's dad, warm and tender at times, angry and aggressive at others. Miriam Laube is also excellent as Christopher's flawed but loving mom. And by the way, everyone speaks with various types of British accents, consistent and fun to listen to across the board (thanks to accent coach Cheryl Willis).
The Twin Cities Theater Bloggers named Mixed Blood the most accessible theater last year for a reason, and it's perhaps never been more apparent than in Curious Incident. From telling a story of a boy with autism, to the inclusion of people of various ages, ethnicities, and abilities in the cast and creative team, to a special performance for audience members that are both deaf and blind, to the Radical Hospitality program, it's all about making sure everyone is represented and feels welcome in the audience and on stage.
This Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time may be on a smaller scale than the West End/Broadway version, but the impact is no smaller. In fact, the story is even more impactful and immediate in the smaller space, told by an excellent cast and clever design elements. Curious Incident continues through December 3. I do recommend making a reservation for this one if you're able, it's selling very well already and there might not be many Radical Hospitality seats left, especially on weekends.
*Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about the Broadway tour.
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.