Venue Details

3908 Star Starred
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Avenue Arlington, VA 22206
Venue website Get directions

Reviews & Ratings

"The Boy Detective Fails"
15 ratings
3.7 average rating
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8 events
6 reviews
25 stars
attended Aug 26 2011

The acting was great, the music well done, and the play stayed true to the novel. It felt a little long and seemed liked it ended abruptly, without entirely resolving the mystery, but definitely worth seeing.

The theatre is really nice, with a...continued

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Dennis Rabinovitz
30 events
4 reviews
3 stars
attended Sep 02 2011

Highly recommended. Terrific set design, lighting and staging. Talented ensemble & leads. Great music & lyrics. Quirky characters with entertaining scenes. An enjoyable creation. Expect it to go far.

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109 events
20 reviews
2 stars
attended Sep 25 2011

Final result was puzzling. Certain characters not fully fleshed out as to their purpose in the musical. Very well sung and staged.

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More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“[Adam Gwon is] an extremely talented composer and lyricist” who “is seriously going places.” — The New York Sun,


Book by Joe Meno

Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon

Based on novel The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

Scenic Design Derek McLane

Costume Design Kathleen Geldard

Lighting Design Chris Lee

Sound Design Matt Rowe

Orchestrations Andy Einhorn

Music Directon Gabriel Mangiante

Choreographed by Karma Camp

Directed by Joe Calarco

The Boy Detective Fails, based on Joe Meno’s acclaimed novel, tells the story of Billy Argo, “boy detective.” In the twilight of a childhood full of wonder, a broken-hearted Billy faces a mystery he can’t comprehend – the shocking death of his young sister and crime-solving partner, Caroline. Ten years later, a 30-year old Billy returns to his quiet New Jersey town after an extended stay at St. Vitus’ Hospital for the mentally ill. Although determined to solve the mystery of Caroline’s death and right old wrongs, he instead discovers a world full of unimaginable strangeness, beauty and love.

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