Fierecely Independent: A couple in trouble. On stage. In a play.
Premise: A married couple in deep trouble resolve to take 24 hours together in a hotel room to discuss, argue, listen, and decide on the fate of their marriage.
Rules: No television, no cell phones, no alcohol, no yelling, no cursing.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship on the skids (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) this concept for a story is very interesting.
Well, there is a play based entirely on this premise. Fiercely Independent, written and directed by Tony award winning producer Kathleen K. Johnson, just opened at the Soho Playhouse.
The set by William E. Cotton is indeed a generic hotel room and prepares the audience for a roller coaster ride of emotional baggage between the two main characters, Julie (played by the adorable Caitlin Gallogly) and Robert (ably performed by Christopher M. Smith). The full range of their relationship is exposed during the 70 minute piece. A third actor, Jordan Sobel, flows in and out of the play, as the hotel desk clerk. Jordan does a great job of performing this role, as he remains the impartial and unwitting observer of this sequestered couple.
What Fiercely Independent does is prick the bubble of relationships, in general, no matter what state yours is in. We feel like we are spying on a real couple’s dysfunction, which, at the same time, provides an opportunity to check in with our own relationships and explore our own issues.
With dialogue rooted in reality, Fiercely Independent is a play for anyone who has ever been in a marriage or relationship.
Through April 7th at the Soho Playhouse
Listen to an interview with the cast of Fiercely Independent on “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” radio show the only radio show in New York devoted to theatre, entertainment and food.
Saturday morning 9-10 on AM970-WNYM, online at www.am970theanswer, or podcast: