Gene Gillette will return to Denver in 'Curious Incident'

Gene Gillette, photographed after a rehearsal for ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ on New York’s 42nd Street, is well-known to audiences of Curious Theatre, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks, the Denver Civic Theatre and many more. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Casting has been announced for the North American tour of the National Theatre’s Tony Award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and it includes Evergreen native Gene Gillette in a leading role.

Gillette, who grew up making his name on Denver stages playing ferocious characters in explosive performances, will play Ed, father to a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.

Gene Gillette RainThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, winner of Best Play and four other Tony Awards, is one of the most widely praised and technically complex plays of the past decade – and one of the few to tour the country. This way, American audiences are assured of seeing the play performed and presented to its full Broadway standards.

The play, written by Simon Stephens and adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, begins with Christopher falling under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog. He then sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

(Photo at right: A young Gene Gillette with Kathryn Gray in Curious Theatre’s ‘Praying for Rain’ in Denver in 2000.)

Gillette’s biggest break came two years ago when he joined the national touring production of the National Theatre’s War Horse. The director of Curious Incident is Tony Award-winner Marianne Elliott, who also directed War Horse. The cast will star Juilliard graduate Adam Langdon as Christopher, along with Felicity Jones Latta (Metamorphoses) as Judy, Maria Elena Ramirez (Fish in the Dark) as Siobhan and Amelia White (The Heiress) as Mrs. Alexander. White had a leading role in the DCPA Theatre Company’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in 2014.

Curious Incident is the longest-running play on Broadway in more than 10 years.It closes on Sept. 4.

The touring production, which stops in Denver at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House next May 30-June 18, is so highly anticipated, it is being presented here as part of both the DCPA’s Broadway and Theatre Company season subscriptions.

Gene Gillette quoteGillette grew up in Franktown and attended Ponderosa High School and the University of Colorado-Boulder. His seminal performances in Colorado have included playing Hamlet at the Denver Civic, John Proctor in the Arvada Center’s The Crucible, and a particularly chilling turn as a child killer in Curious Theatre’s death-row drama Coyote on a Fence. Gillette won the Denver Post Ovation Award in 2008 for his darkly funny turn in Curious’ The Lieutenant of Inishmore as an alternately savage and sweet Irish madman. Since then, Gillette has appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and most recently in Berkeley Rep’s Macbeth with Frances McDormand. His TV credits include The Good Wife, Person of Interest and Elementary.

When Gillette joined the War Horse tour, it already had stopped in Denver, so Curious Incident will be his first chance to perform at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Gillette lost his mother to cancer when he was 5, and he credits theatre for helping him through a difficult adolescence. He said it was watching theatre at the Buell Theatre, located right next to The Ellie, that he found his direction in life.

“The first play I ever saw was the national tour of Biloxi Blues in 1986 at the Buell Theatre, and that changed everything,” he said in an exclusive interview with the DCPA NewsCenter.

 “It’s going to be huge for me,” he said. “I have never worked at the Denver Center. That’s the place, man. That’s the crown jewel in my head. That’s the spot. I cannot wait.”

The tour will launch at Rochester’s Auditorium Theater on Sept. 27 and go on to play more than 30 cities in its first season.

The ensemble includes Geoffrey Wade (Translations), who performed with the DCPA Theatre Company in Wings in 1981, as well as Brian Robert Burns (War Horse), Francesca Choy-Kee (Disgraced), Josephine Hall (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), John Hemphill (School of Rock), Robyn Kerr (Dark Vanilla Jungle), Kathy McCafferty (Dada Woof Papa Hot), J. Paul Nicholas (Blood and Gifts) and Tim Wright (Curious Incident/Broadway). Benjamin Wheelwright (Curious Incident/Broadway) will play Christopher at certain performances.

The production is designed by Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee and Cindy Tolan.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Ticket Information

• May 30-June 18
• The Ellie
• Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
• Groups: Call 303-446-4829