Horizon Theatre’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” features Brandon Michael Mayes (left) and Christopher Hampton. CONTRIBUTED BY GREG MOONEY
In "Curious Incident," the directors wisely cast a newcomer on the local scene as Christopher. Brandon Michael Mayes, a recent graduate of Brenau University, works up quite a sweat, and unless you happen to have seen any of his college productions with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, you could easily wonder about the possibility that he is autistic. He's not, presumably, but that's how completely and convincingly he seems to lose himself in the part.
Among the principal members of the supporting ensemble: Christopher Hampton portrays his exasperated single father, a highly problematic role for reasons that shouldn’t be divulged here; Megan Dominy appears as his mysteriously absent mother; and Candy McLellan is a sympathetic teacher who encourages him to keep a journal about his various adventures, and helps him narrate the story for the audience. LaLa Cochran, Jimi Kocina, Brian Kurlander and Yvonne Singh round out the cast.
The play somewhat overextends its welcome. By the second act, the magical sense of wonder so elaborately embellished by Cordero’s projections (and so intricately evoked in designer Mary Parker’s lighting) finally gives way to a much less remarkable domestic drama about Christopher and his estranged parents—replete with an obligatory happy ending involving a pivotal math exam, and even the introduction of a precious little puppy.
Despite all the special effects of a technical nature, the dramatic effect, in the end, feels curiously incidental, essentially grounding a lot of the show's preceding flights of fancy.
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“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”
Through Oct. 27. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays (excluding Oct. 19); 5 p.m. Sundays. $32-$40. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. 404-584-7450, horizontheatre.com.
Bottom line: A marvel of technique.