THEATER: Revelations on autism; yee-haw country ‘Honky Tonk’

| August 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, is a revelatory theatrical event that brings you close to the perspective the autistic individual has of the world, while at the same time being enormously entertaining. From the moment you enter the Ahmanson Theatre to view the three-walled set, all several-story-high walls and floor covered in a lighted grid (scenic and costume design by Bunny Christie, lighting design by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross), and view the rather large dead dog impaled by a pitchfork center stage, you know this evening will be different.

Adam Langdon plays Christopher Boone, an autistic math whiz (played at the matinees by Benjamin Wheelwright). He’s the teenage protagonist of the play, and Langdon leads a gifted cast as he journeys through his life trying to adjust to the vagaries of family changes, distracting train stations, loud noises, unwanted touches, lost pets and more, all the while trying to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington the dog. Langdon is on stage for all of the play — this is a splendid performance by a talented young actor. Director Marianne Elliott has brought Christopher’s world to life and the choreography by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett punches the action effectively. An intriguing evening at the theater.

Through Sun., Sept. 10. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., 213-972-4400,                4 Stars

• • •

Yee-haw and alleluia! If you love country music, Honky Tonk Laundry, written and directed by Roger Bean, is full of iconic songs from “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’,” to “Stand by Your Man” plus 22 more. Performed by multi-talented performers Bets Malone, who plays Lana Mae Hopkins, owner of the Wishy Washy Washiteria, and Misty Cotton, who plays Katie Lane Murphy, new friend and employee, these talented triple-threats sing their hearts out. The thin plotline involves cheatin’ husbands and boyfriends and frustrated singing careers that culminate in a second act “show” with audience interaction that is pure entertainment. Time to feel good again.

Through Sun., Sept. 17. Hudson Mainstage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-960-7773.            4 Stars

• • •

A spooky, deserted cabin in a remote area. Center stage, a branch from an outside tree has crashed through the window. Scenic design by Stephanie Kerley-Schwartz. This is the promising beginning of The Lost Child by Jennifer W. Rowland. Ann (Addie Daddio) and Daniel (Peter James Smith), an estranged couple, have arrived to pack up what remains of the dwelling. We learn, as the dialogue progresses, that they’ve lost a child — she was kidnapped from the cabin when she was 11. Cue the storm and cue the child Angelica (a terrific Marilyn Fitoria) who arrives not seeming to have aged a day even though seven years have passed. From here the play caroms from illogical fantasy to gratuitous conclusions and loses the credibility that showed such promise via the mystery set up at the beginning.

Through Sun., Sept. 3. Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., 213-761-7061,                2 Stars

Theater Review by Patricia Foster Rye

Tags: , , ,

Category: Entertainment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *