“The Family Gold” opens with Ruth and Ted Gold, married for over 50 years, absentmindedly discussing the soup they’re eating. In the Victory Gardens premiere of Annie Reiner’s new play, Harold Gould and Roslyn Alexander, surrounded by a meticulously realistic set, dutifully mime spooning soup while carrying on this revealingly unrevealing conversation. The whole play is a little like that: carefully crafted but missing something vital at its center. Annie Reiner (daughter of comedy legend Carl) has written a kind of “Long Day’s Journey into Mr. Saturday Night.” During the course of the play, Ruth and Ted’s daughter Dory (like the playwright, a poet) returns to her parents’ house after leaving her husband; the revelation of dark family secrets ensues. Or not so dark: her father, a theatrical legend, put work before family; her mother, overshadowed by her creative spouse and children, feels underappreciated. Harold Gould tosses off Ted Gold’s numerous one-liners effortlessly (Reiner, unsurprisingly, knows how to shape a good one-liner). And Roslyn Alexander delivers a standout performance as Ruth, revealing the desperation within this seemingly unassuming wife and mother. But the strong performances aren’t enough to salvage a familiar and unevenly told story, caught awkwardly between the sitcom soundstage and the primal scene. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.