‘Curious Incident’ plays at The Smith Center

Updated September 19, 2017 - 4:02 pm

Entertainment’s new fall season moves into high gear tonight (Sept. 19) with the kickoff of the new Broadway season at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the return of superstar singer Celine Dion to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night” is not only an unlikely title for a play but its subject matter of solving who killed a dead dog found on a neighbor’s lawn is definitely non-traditional storytelling. This is the National Theater Company’s Broadway adaption of a 2003 novel that deals with the condition known as Asperger’s, a form of autism in a 15-year-old boy living in England. Thus, he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.

Time magazine gave it glowing reviews stating: “ eye-opening, life-affirming and unmissable.” The New York Times raved: “One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway.”.

The modern-day detective story production won five Tony awards on the Great White Way, but it’s the innovative set, designed by Bunny Christie, that will have local audiences talking. She says: “It felt right to make the set a kind of Rubik’s cube of equations and algebra. The set is very precise and mathematical. It’s almost a laboratory for Christopher to solve the mystery.

“I wanted watching the show to feel as much fun as reading the book. We are seeing the world from the boy’s point of view and his brain is happiest when it’s full of math and science. I wanted the design to celebrate the world of technology and how exciting that can be. I looked at computer gaming rooms and clubs for inspiration. I wanted the set to feel like a box of tricks that serves the storytelling quickly. It is a playground for the company to tell the story of his investigation. The first half of the play is really a murder mystery. The second half is almost an action thriller — much darker. The set becomes a machine that fizzes and crackles with electricity.

“Inside and behind the set is a mass of technology and wiring like a big brain with lots of synapses and neurons. We have speakers and LED (light-emitting diode) lighting built into the walls and floor and projectors programmed with the show’s content. I wanted the design to feel as though you are inside his brain so the audience gets a little sense of what his world feels like. “

The production has been on tour across America the past year and wraps up its national run with this week’s performances in Las Vegas. Tonight (Sept. 19) through Thursday (Sept. 21), the cast will meet for a nightly 30-minute pre-show discussion about the play with theatergoers

“Curious Incident “ plays at The Smith Center nightly at 7.30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with 2 p.m. afternoon matinee performances on both Saturday and Sunday.

CELINE’S RETURNS

Judging from the incredible fashion shows she put on daily from her Parisian home this summer at the Royal Monceau hotel, global superstar Celine Dion will present a new radiant confident personae when she returns tonight (Sept. 19) to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Here’s the YouTube video she shot for Vogue with the best couture looks of the season and another YouTube video of Celine departing the Giambattista Valli Couture Fall Winter fashion collection. It’s a look at Celine as never before:

Photos of her in head-to-toe python with thigh-high boots and trench coat went worldwide. She became a total fashion icon and full-fledged legend. The change in Celine from the days of being worn down and weary from the ugly cancer death of her 21-year partner in marriage, Rene Angelil, her manager, was evident. The black veil had been lifted.

Celine was on tour in Scandinavia, Britain and the capitals of Europe.

And sold out everywhere she went. “It has been a phenomenal success — more so than any other tour she has done in Europe before. She shattered records at the box office everywhere she went. She could have doubled the entire tour if there had been time,” one of the AEG officials with her told me

It was also where the 49-year-old superstar scored international headlines for her sexy dancing in a one-piece lace jumpsuit with Spanish dancer Pepe Munoz that I reported late July.

The New York Times said earlier this month that Celine’s new look is reflected in her new outlook on life. Says Celine: “I’m about to turn 50 and always had a person to help me out. Things are different now. My change is that I was going to be strong for myself. If I show strength my kids will be strong.”

Celine’s fans are flying in from all over America and Canada for her return tonight to Caesars Palace. She’s there through Oct. 7 and again Nov. 7-25 and again for New Year’s Eve, starting Dec. 30 through Jan. 20.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

DJ Hollywood spins the 1s and 2s at the Dorsey in The Venetian.

DJ Burns flies over from Scotland to man the dual decks at Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace.

• Carson Kitchen Culinary Director John Courtney teams up with chef Mark Purdy of Andre’s Bistro & Bar for a special pop-up Low Country boil inspired family dinner at Andre’s on Fort Apache Road.

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