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Indian Summer: Theater review by Adam Feldman
Summer in the New York theater world tends to be a time of relative quiet. Broadway takes a breather, and the major Off Broadway companies relax their output. It’s the right time, that is to say, for Gregory S. Moss’s aptly titled Indian Summer, a warm and gently breezy new play about teenage love on the Rhode Island seashore.
Directed by Carolyn Cantor, Indian Summer mostly takes place on the beach. Daniel (Owen Campbell) is a disaffected 16-year-old whose unreliable mother has dumped him with his garrulous, recently widowed grandfather, George (an impeccable Jonathan Hadary). Izzy (Elise Kibler, a major find) is an assertive, proudly trashy local girl from what George considers a “low-class family.” But she’s bright and curious—she prides herself on being an autodidact—and she’s drawn to Daniel’s introversion, which stands in stark contrast with the bumptious energy of her townie boyfriend, Jeremy (a hilariously meatheaded Joe Tippett).
The touchingly tentative coming-of-age dialogue of the first act is not quite matched by that of the second, but the engaging cast puts the play’s cosmic mildness across. Although Moss dips his toe into the dark and vast waters of the ocean, he doesn’t let it linger there for long. He’s more interested in what the tide brings in, however briefly, before washing it away along with who knows what else.—Adam Feldman
Playwrights Horizons (Off Broadway). By Gregory S. Moss. Directed by Carolyn Cantor. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 10mins. One intermission.
Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam