In Franny's Way, Richard Nelson sets a wonderful story of sexuality, love, loss and the coming of age against the backdrop of New York City in 1957.
As Sally & Phil deal with the loss of their child, who died in her crib while they were having sex, Sally's young cousins arrive with their grandmother. Each has their own motive for visiting: Franny has come to loose her virginity while Dolly has planned a rendezvous with their estranged mother.
Nelson's recreation of the jazz age in the village is skillful; you can feel the oppressive heat of the summer, which only adds to the tension in the air.
The play is sensual, at times mournful. It feels as though it was written decades ago, but it is in fact a bold commentary on life in the 50's from today's perspective. Familial relationships are explored as each generation struggles to overcome, or grow out of, their surrounding circumstances.
All of Nelson's plays speak to a central theme, identity. Despite its mature content, Franny's Way deals with this theme with a refreshing innocence.