Being in the mind of the boy with Asperger’s Syndrome from “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” is amazing, nightmarish, poetic, angry, funny, noisy, harrowing, despairing, and remarkable–sometimes all at the same time. I wondered how the book would get staged, and it’s a thing of chaotic beauty and wonder. The staging with its ever-flexible grid set and the acting are breathtaking. We are inside his mind, and his mind becomes his body, lifted, swung, tumbled, hurtled, crouching, collapsing.
My seat was on the left center aisle on the first row. I saw the goosebumps on the boy’s arm and could have stroked that arm as he squatted right in front of me, in a quiet moment. Close enough to see a tear smear his eye. This boy wasn’t acting. He was Christopher. At the end when he asks, “can I do anything?” three yearning times with no answer from the other actor before the blackout, I wanted to scream “yes!”
This is some piece of theater, and if you want to amplify the experience, take in the powerful show of Norman Lewis and Lee Krasner at the Jewish Museum.
Their calligraphic paintings especially work like Christopher’s mind. Lewis’ lines are almost dainty in their expression, while Krasner deliciously glopped and carved the paint on her ironically carefully-constructed compositions.
Many think she taught her husband Jackson Pollack a thing or two about painting.
And given these works from the late 1940s, before Pollack’s breakthrough paintings in the 1950s, you can see how. Like so many others, she back-seated her career for his craziness, and we’re not better as a result.
Still you can revel in the works of this small show and enter the worlds of all of these remarkable minds.