NY Review: 'Independents'

at Theatre 80 as part of the New York International Fringe Festival

Reviewed by Suzy Evans

August 14, 2012


Photo by Dixie Sheridan
It's impossible to watch "Independents" without thinking about its book writer, Marina Keegan. After her tragic death in May, a few days after her Yale graduation, Keegan gained posthumous recognition when her final column for the Yale Daily News went viral. With "Independents," Keegan and her collaborators, composer Stephen Feigenbaum and lyricist Mark Sonnenblick, bring a relevant and touching work to what will hopefully be a long life.

"We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that's what I want in life," Keegan wrote, and that is exactly what her troubled characters—a group of stunted, pot-smoking adolescents—are seeking. They sing a confused 20-something anthem: "If I can't find a way to enjoy myself today, why should I care about tomorrow at all?" Facing mortgage payments on the ship where they live, the rag-tag group of unlikely Revolutionary War re-enactors clings to the boat as a haven and struggles to venture on the stormy seas of adulthood for fear of losing the community the ship provides.

Feigenbaum and Sonnenblick's score is catchy and poignant, while Keegan writes excellent character-specific dialogue within a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story. The large cast carries the show's sail well, with Summer Broyhill, Christopher Burke, and Corey Desjardins delivering standout performances. Director Charlie Polinger executes a clear vision for the work.

After viewing this mature and haunting piece, it's clear that the world has lost a tremendous talent. But what Keegan accomplished in her too-short 22 years is more than many can even dream to do, and her work is sure to live on.

Self-presented as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks Place, NYC. Aug. 11–25. Remaining performances: Sat., Aug. 15, 4 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 20, 4 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 23, 4 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 25, 9:15 p.m. (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org. Casting by Holly Buczek.
 

 
Subscribe to Back Stage

More Off Off Broadways

ADVERTISEMENT

Unscripted Blog


Visit Unscripted »

Sponsors

Back Stage Video

Duncan Stewart, director of casting at National Artists Management Company, talks about opening every submission and what he wants to see in a headshot.; casting; Duncan Stewart; headshot; new york city; open submissions; Duncan Steward, director of casting, talks about what he wants from an actor in a general meeting, mainly truth, likability, and lack of ego.; advice; casting; Duncan Stewart; new york city; tips; Duncan Stewart, director of casting, talks about what he expects from an audition and common mistakes actors make.; advice; auditions; casting; Duncan Stewart; new york city; Alaine Alldaffer breaks down the real role of a casting direcor.; Alaine Alldaffer; casting; casting director; Grey Gardens; play; stage; theater; Casting director Alaine Alldaffer talks about casting "Saved" and all the misconceptions about being an actor in New York City.; Alaine Alldaffer; casting director; NYC theatre; play; saved; NY casting director Bernie Telsey describes what actors need to know before walking into an audition. (Part 1 of 2) ; Bernie Telsey; casting director; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about working on soap operas. (Part 1 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teschner; soap opera; NY casting director Bernie Telsey describes how to give your best audition. (Part 2 of 2) ; Bernie Telsey; casting director; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about working on soap operas. Need only beautiful people apply? (Part 2 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teshner; soap opera; We spoke with casting director Mark Teschner about auditioning for soap operas. (Part 3 of 3) ; General Hospital; Mark Teschner; soap opera; Videos for the Back Stage News & Features section.

ADVERTISEMENT