March 1, 2018 marks opening night for The Art of Racing in the Rain at Harlequin Productions. Told from the perspective of Enzo the dog, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a heartwrenching and heartwarming story of life, loss, loyalty, and love, all set right here in our beloved Pacific Northwest. As you can imagine, the observations of an observing family pet are at once entertaining (sometimes hilarious) and insightful. Enzo calls it like it is, in a way that only a dog can.
Based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name, this play adaptation by Myra Platt is actually one of many adaptations inspired by Garth Stein’s original 2008 book. In 2011, the book was adapted for young adult readers into the novel, Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog. On the heels of the YA novel success, Stein authored his first picture book featuring his beloved canine character in 2014. Enzo Races in the Rain began a trend, with three more picture books following: Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt, Enzo and the Fourth of July Races, and Enzo’s Very Scary Halloween. To continue the fun, there is now a website at enzokids.com with online games and printable activities for children.
The Art of Racing in the Rain has even caught the attention of Hollywood, with Universal Productions acquiring the rights in 2009. After a couple false starts, screenwriter Mark Bomback said in 2017: “I’m hoping the third time’s the charm, and I’m optimistic that next year will be when it finally goes into production.” Bomback revealed that the movie was now set up at Fox 2000.
The play adaptation, first produced at Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre in 2012, is sure to be a good time for Olympia audiences. With popularity for the story already established, this show has the very real potential of selling out—make sure you get your tickets as soon as possible so you don’t miss it!