By: Isa Goldberg
Playwright Simon Stephens has a way with the inexplicable – and sometimes creepy, as in his stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime. In this current production, at the Atlantic Theater, one feels as if they’re walking into a Pinteresque nightmare, in which the existence of a mysterious other creates an underlying threat. This atmosphere permeates in this story about unfulfilling marriages, played out by 3 generations of the same family. Set in a bleak area of England, life is neither jolly nor well off here.
Director Neil Pepe finesses the play’s intense realism, developing each scene with the utmost attention to detail, and to the ongoing life on the stage. Often the events in the characters’ lives are disturbing– the death of a teenage son, a grandfather who abuses his wife, and a wife who carries on a flirtation with her son’s killer. Still, it all comes across as plausible, even quotidian. What could be more predictable, after all, than bad marriages and dysfunctional families.
Throughout, the actors carry the action, keeping us tuned in to their sad and sordid affairs. As Alice, Mary McCann, a mainstay of the Atlantic Theater, is so simple and truthful, that we accept the character’s bizarre choices. Similarly, C.J. Wilson as her husband, Peter, emerges as a man with a depth of feeling and a sense of virility that is very appealing. It’s a highly effecting cast with Blair Brown as the grandmother, Ben Rosenfield as the son, Alex, and Odiseas Georgiadis as a stranger, of sorts.
On The Shore of The Wide World ***
Atlantic Theater Company at the Linda Gross Theate
336 W. 20th St., NYC.
Tue 7pm, Wed 2 and 8pm, Thu—Fri 8pm, Sat 2 and 8pm, Sun 2pm.
Running time: two hours and 40 mins. including intermission. $66.50—$86.50
(866) 811-4111. Sept. 12- Oct. 8, 2017
Photo: Ahron R. Foster