Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at City Theatre

Both father and son share a deep bond.

Both father and son share a deep bond.

Photo courtesy of Bruce Clarke

Showtimes: Thu 7:30pm, Fri 7:30pm, Sat 2pm & 7:30pm, Sun 2pm; Through 10/20; $10-$18; City Theatre at Sacramento City College Performing Arts Center, 3835 Freeport Blvd., (916) 558-2228,
Rated 5.0

Perhaps the best show of the year—and there have been plenty of good ones—is on stage at the Art Court Theatre on the Sac City College campus through this weekend. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, takes an entirely sympathetic and worthy hero on a voyage of discovery of self and the world at large.

Christopher John Francis Boone (impeccably portrayed by Vincent Barnett) is a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome. He has difficulty with people, but is a whiz at other things. He's “The Good Doctor” of math.

Christopher lives with his father (Jonathan Plon) in a relationship that has grown especially strong since his dad told him the circumstances of his mother's death (which may or may not be true).

When Christopher discovers the body of a neighbor's dog with a pitchfork stuck in it, he becomes determined to find the dog's killer. His detective work leads him into interactions he wouldn't ordinarily have with people and reveals a lot—a whole lot—about himself, his parents and so much more.

Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin directs this swirl of action and emotions with authority and understanding. There is a sizable cast of both students and adults who are smartly incorporated into Christopher's story.

A special, sensory-friendly, relaxed performance—for those on the autism spectrum as well as those with anxiety and sensory disorders and developmental differences—will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday.