Written by 5:41 am Mission Viejo, Review, Saddleback College, Theater, Uncategorized

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time @ Saddleback College in Mission Viejo – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

I recently had a conversation with someone about college theater. One thing stuck out to me about that conversation. They said well, the acting in the show was uneven, but of course, it’s college. I’m paraphrasing, but there’s no denying there’s some truth to it. College is a place to make mistakes and learn the craft, no doubt about it. Maybe, I’m too much of an optimist, but whether a show is in someone’s garage or a massive theater like the Segerstrom Center, great things can and do happen. Watching The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time at Saddleback College is a reminder of why holding our judgments at the door is important before stepping into the theater. Whether you’re in college or professionally going on stage every night, every show is an opportunity for excellence. That show last night was a great example of that mentality in process.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about a boy named Christopher, played by Logan Booth, on the autism spectrum, who goes on a quest to discover who killed his neighbor’s dog.  The journey to find the dog’s murderer tests Christopher’s detective skills and his view of the world around him.

This play is based on a mystery novel written by British author Mark Haddon in 2003. It was later adapted for the stage by playwright Simon Stephen. The play premiered in 2012 and won the Olivier Award (the British equivalent of a Tony Award) for Best Play in 2013.  This a phenomenal script. I completely get the hype around it. The writing and characters are intriguing. There are no boring moments, and the conflicts and story arc keep you guessing and engaged.  A play or a story doesn’t always have to be entertaining, and a play doesn’t always need to have a deep message, but when they happen at the same time, often that is what we call a hit.


What first comes to mind when I think about this production is movement.  The tables in front of the stage are on rollers, and the actors were so physical: laying on the ground, moving tables, physical confrontation and not weak ones.  It was so well choreographed I jumped from my seat.  I could see sweat coming off of Logan Booth’s face. The energy and effort coming from this young actor were phenomenal to watch. I had to change my seat to get a closer view.  The direction and vision for this elaborate piece in a small theater is a fully realized concept executed beautifully.


The use of shadow puppetry, moving paneled projections, and a moving spinning glass box are used for various scenes and reasons throughout.


As mentioned before, the lead actor in this production was really strong, but the cast that supported him also did an excellent job with line delivery and the emotion each scene required. Natalie Schroder, as Mrs. Alexander, a noisy old neighbor on Christophers Street, was spot on.

8.5 Overall
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Set & Design8.5
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