Life on an Alien World That's Ours

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ian Barford and Alex Sharp in the National Theatre production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.' Ian Barford and Alex Sharp in the National Theatre production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.' (Joan Marcus)

In 2003, Mark Haddon wrote a well-received novel about a 15-year-old boy solving a mystery that's become a literary staple. But “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is atypical of the boy-detective form because the boy in Haddon’s novel is atypical. He has autism and experiences the world in a markedly different way from most of us, possessing, among other qualities, a keen visual sense and an aversion to being touched, in addition to the usual challenges of adolescence.

Haddon’s novel is now a stage show of the same name adapted by Simon Stephens and imported from London’s National Theater. It's running on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater and directed by Marianne Elliott. New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood offers his thoughts on how effectively the story has been translated to the stage and on Alex Sharpe, the young actor straight out of Juilliard who is making his Broadway debut in this production.

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