Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Indian Summer

Gregory S. Moss is indeed a talented playwright.  In his latest installment at Playwrights Horizons we are treated to a summer romance between two innocent high school kids.  Of course that couldn't be all there is to it - so he threw in a jealous not-so-smart 27 year old boyfriend and a sad widowed grandfather who ultimately offs himself.  The romance was fine.  The 27year old boyfriend was entertaining.  The grandfather was a disturbing and incongruous character with a creepy effect.   Maybe this was what Mr. Moss was going for.  I'm not sure.

What I do know is that the play is slow.  Very slow.  Aside from creepy grandpa, there isn't much you can't see coming.  The set is simple and appropriate.  A pile of sand on the stage.  How could it get easier.  No nails.  No screws.  (sets, Dane Lafferty).  And well lit was this stage and sky behind.  Colorful sunsets and sunrises abound (lighting, Eric Southern).  The extremely talented young actor, Owen Campbell (Daniel), is an adorable, scrawny, smart young man seemingly dumped at a Rhode Island beach for the summer at his grandfather's by his mother.  Elise Kibler (Izzy) is a sassy, pretty, local kid who falls for Daniel all the while being a big-girl with a bullying, dopey, 27 year old boyfriend Jeremy (the sexy, hunky Joe Tippett).  Things amusingly unfold as you might imagine.  Grandpa (Jonathan Hadary) is the anomaly to the trio and the overall play in general.  His unsettling character brought to mind Paula Vogel's uncomfortable How I Learned to Drive.

As a season ending show, it wasn't a zinger, wasn't a thriller, and wasn't memorable.  It was, perhaps, like a summer read of the latest by Mary Higgins Clark on the beach.  Mindless. Easy. Forgettable.