England and Broadway by storm and earned multiple awards on both continents.

Christopher (Elijah Pinkham) is a 15-year-old boy with an unspecified cognitive condition (that some read as autism or Asperger’s) living with his father in Swindon, England. He discovers a neighbor’s dog has been killed and, to his father’s consternation, decides to undertake an investigation. That investigation leads to another mystery culminating in a journey of self-discovery and affirmation.

Director Elizabeth Craven gets outstanding performances from her cast. Pinkham completely inhabits the incredibly difficult lead role. David L. Yen as Chris’s father and Bronwen Shears as a woman in their lives are also superlative and there’s a “who’s who” of quality North Bay performers filling out the ensemble.

Excellent technical elements (set design, lighting design, sound, and projections) effectively transport you inside Christopher’s oft-confused mind but occasionally overwhelm the story.

Performance and presentation combine to make The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time unlike anything previously produced in this area.

’The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ runs through September 30 at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park. Thursday performances are at 7pm; Friday and Saturday’s are at 8pm; and there’s a Sunday matinee at 2pm.

For more information, go to spreckelsonline.com

If you’re going to see only one ‘five British women of varying ages, socio-economic statuses and body types bonding over pole dancing’ play in your lifetime, might as well make it Dave Simpson’s The Naked Truth. A big hit in England, director Argo Thompson imports it to the North Bay for its U.S. premiere at Left Edge Theatre.

Its story of five disparate individuals brought together with the goal of putting on a charity show is hardly original and its characters are pretty stock (the shy one, the bawdy one, the snobby one, etc.), but its well-acted and the five performers (Angela Squire, Bonnie Jean Shelton, Katie Kelly, Annabel Pimentel, Serena Elize Flores) and their instructor (Heather Danielle) have definite chemistry.

After your ears adjust to the accents, there’ll be two hours of laughs and tears as the ladies deal with self-image and relationship issues, sex talk, ill health, and betrayal. Will all conflicts be resolved in time to put on the big charity pole dance?
How did you think the show would end?

‘The Naked Truth’ runs through September 30 at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.
For more information, go to leftedgetheatre.com

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