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'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ' opens on Broadway

'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ' opens on Broadway
Alex Sharp appears in a scene from the National Theatre production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," which opened on Broadway to positive reviews. (Joan Marcus / Associated Press)

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," the stage play based on the popular 2003 novel by Mark Haddon, opened on Broadway on Sunday in an imported production from London's National Theatre.

The play follows the adventures of a teenage boy, who suffers from a form of Asperger syndrome, as he embarks on the investigation into the death of a local canine. The New York production, running at the Barrymore Theatre, stars recent Juilliard graduate Alex Sharp as the protagonist, a role that was played by actor Luke Treadaway in London.

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Tony Award-winning "War Horse" director Marianne Elliott has staged the Broadway run, as she did in London.

"Curious" opened in London at the National Theatre in 2012 and later transferred to the West End at the Apollo Theatre. During the West End run, the ceiling of the Apollo suffered a partial collapse, causing the production to cease performances for a period.

The play, which has been adapted from the novel by Simon Stephens, later resumed its West End engagement at the Gielgud Theatre, where it continues to run. The production won seven Olivier Awards, the British equivalent of the Tonys.

Reviews from New York have been overwhelmingly favorable.

Ben Brantley of the New York Times described the production as "one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway." Although the play can be "shameless manipulative," it also "forces you to adopt, wholesale, the point of view of someone with whom you may initially feel you have little in common."

Variety's Marilyn Stasio wrote that the show "is spectacular, like Cirque du Soleil with brains." The production benefits from a "brilliant" design team that "allows us to inhabit the boy’s consciousness on a terrifying journey that begins with the death of a dog and ends with his discovery of the power of his own mind."

Linda Winer of Newsday concluded that the production designs "brilliantly capture the sensory overload" of the protagonist, but "what the adaptation does not do, at least until the very end, is transcend the spectacle" and delve into the protagonist's emotional life.

The New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz described the show as "eloquently theatrical and deeply touching," adding that Sharp "dazzles as bright as the high-wattage effects with a physical and emotionally intense star turn."

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT 

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