Tim Errickson's Endless Summer Nights is a thoughtful play, a bittersweet mediation on the paths not taken in life- the play is concerned with Sam (Michael Criscuolo), who just lost his job, and has decided to finally leave the Jersey Shore town where he grew up and by which he now feels stifled. Just as he's set his affairs in order and planned a random road trip, he runs into his high school sweetheart Tracy (Synge Maher), who's in town to convince her ailing mother (Nora Hummel) to move to Connecticut, so she can keep an eye on her. The two decide to see if their long-gone romance can be rekindled, or if they've changed too much in the intervening years to really be the same people they were for each other then.
Modern-day scenes are interspersed with flashbacks to the backseat of a car, where Young Sam (Bret Richard Hoskins) and Young Tracy (Becky Byers) seem to spend all their time; they have sex, deep conversations, and arguments as they journey from the idyll of high school to the separation of college and the eventual dissolution of their relationship.
It's a sweet romance; there is a bit of clunky exposition in the first few scenes, but once the script gains a footing it becomes quite moving.
Criscuolo and Maher perfectly embody their characters' indecision and neuroses, and Hoskins and Byers are full of passionate teenage angst. Joseph Mathers is very funny as Sam's pal and confidante Scotto. Hummel's performance is a bit too mannered at times; she never seemed to truly inhabit the role.
Nikki Black's understated set design is nicely evocative of a seaside boardwalk town.
It's a contemplative piece, sure to resonate with anyone who left behind a love and wonders what might have been.
The show is part of Boomerang's 2010 In Rep Season, which also includes productions of Venus Observed by Christopher Fry, and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov.
Endless Summer Nights
Boomerang Theatre Company
The Connelly Theatre ( 220 East 4th Street )
Tickets are $15-$25 and are available at TheatreMania.com.
For more information and a full list of the shows' rotating repertory schedule, visit www.boomerangtheatre.org