If ever there was a chance to champion Miami’s strong and eclectic theater community it would be now. Last year’s production of One Night in Miami by Miami New Drama was a shining moment for performers in the city, and another rousing gem is currently underway at the Carnival Studio Theater by the local theatrical powerhouses at Zoetic Stage: a humbling and eye-opening adaptation of the Tony Award-winning, The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time.

Photos by Justin Namon.

The production’s praise must start from the team who has brought it to life. The three-week engagement is directed by Stuart Meltzer, the Artistic Director and a founding member of Zoetic Stage, and an Actor’s Studio alum as well as a multi Carbonell recipient. As part of The Adrienne Arsht Center‘s Theater Up Close Series, the play takes the grandiosity and technical attributes put forth by its Broadway cousin and has found a way to make it feel relatable–human even. Brilliant use of space and even actors to set the stage opens up a light-hearted beam otherwise hard to grasp from large-scale productions. It’s more personal.

Audiences have the opportunity to be fully immersed in the minds of an extraordinary group of people who have brought to life the personality of a very special, autistic boy who finds himself in a wonderfully odd situation. What starts as a quest to find the murderer of a neighbor’s dog turns into a remarkable coming-of-age story where self-discovery and togetherness is at every turn. The entire performance is made powerful by the unmistakable prowess of its cast, led by the ever-talented Ryan Didato as Christopher. Every character comes to life in such a subtly beautiful way, even given the out-of-the-box set and production.

With its perfect mix of unbridled quirk, humane realness, and the spell-binding creation of a world none of us has yet experienced, The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time is a great excuse to feel like you’re in New York City when you’re really just going to the theater for a change. The production continues through to February 3rd and is suitable for kids 10 and up although early teens might appreciate some of the profound nuances a little bit more. Either way, it’s a magical experience and we suggest snagging your tickets!