the story

What would you do?

What if somebody told you that one of your very best friends from High School, someone you were really close to, had lost his mind and disappeared. Without a trace. Would you believe it? Would you wonder how it all came to pass?

Would you look for him?

Daniel and Stan on the BoardwalkThese are the questions that face Stan and Daniel, the two lifelong friends at the center of  WENT TO CONEY ISLAND ON A MISSION FROM GOD...BE BACK BY FIVE. They've heard a rumor that a childhood buddy, Richie, with whom they've lost touch over the years, has been sighted, apparently insane, actually living out at the amusement park on Coney Island. Dubious at first, but looking for a reason to skip out on work, they decide that the only way to know for sure is to go and find him.

What follows is a quirky tale of love, self-discovery, secrets, and betrayal. On a wintry day, we follow Stan and Daniel as they search the boardwalks and the arcades, the defunct remains of the once- glittering amusement park, for the lost Richie.

In their travels, they come across a philosophical skee-ball attendant, a most unlikely pair of lovers, a photographer with a tale of woe, and a less than freaky Freak show. In the process, we discover that Stan and Daniel are dealing with some demons of their own.

Stan and DanielStan's drinking is bringing him to the brink of losing everything he loves, while Daniel is harboring the memory of a disloyalty that he first thought was petty, but that he now realizes, may have been more important than he could have possibly imagined.

When they actually find Richie the revelations come fast and furious; the real reason Richie disappeared, the true impact of Daniel's treachery, and the extent of Stan's descent into the depths of alcoholism. When the dust settles they are faced with a gut-wrenching dilemma:

what do they do now?

Based on a true story WENT TO CONEY ISLAND ON A MISSION FROM GOD... BE BACK BY FIVE is a journey that goes from the hilarious to the heart-rending to the emotionally brutal. It is about the limits of friendship, and the meaning of love.


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All photos by Tom LeGoff