Last night, after drinks & tapas with Matt, Brian, Kat & Jocelyn at Poco, Jennifer & I went on a How About We data to see Goldor $ Mythika: A Hero is Born, a play with a...lot going on. It is based on a true crime story! It is about Dungeons & Dragons! It has a non-linear story jumping from out of order flashbacks to modern day to the near-future. It has a DJ who functions like Cabaret's emcee. Not just high concept, but high concepts. Backstage reviewed it by saying the chaos undercuts the story-- & made some alignment jokes in the bargain-- & that really hits the nail on the head. The Village Voice called the script "exuberant if unfocused" & again, yep. Time Out puts it on the director, saying she "cranks the pace and gimmickry to a humor-and-comprehension-killing level." Well...they all are really...pretty much spot on. I don't know whose feet to put that at-- not the actors, because I enjoyed their performance, particularly the three leads-- but it really did make things a hectic soup pot, though the DJ, played by Bobby Moreno, did his best to keep it in check. The plot is based on a real life couple from the Wasteland who became the "Goth Bonnie & Clyde," kludges DnD in there in a...well, a complicated way. On one hand, hearing people make jokes about eagle's splendor is fun-- oh, so they are playing Third Edition!-- but on the other hand, it wobbles near a sort of hand-wringing moral panic.
The lovers-- Jenny Seastone Stern as Mythyka/Holly & Garrett Neergaard as Goldor/Bart-- empower themselves through the game, but then...use that empowerment to rob the armored truck company that just laid off Goldor & whose owner just sexually harassed Mythyka. It could have been a sort of economic revenge fantasy, it hints that it might be...but I guess the fact that it is anchored in a real life crime meant it had to come crashing down. I for one would have enjoyed Goldor $ Mythyka as a prequel to a cyberpunk revolution-- hey, you don't have to try hard to look at the world right now as a cyberpunk dystopia-- but that isn't what we get. Instead, the house of cards comes crashing down. There is an arc of redemption at the end; I don't buy Mythyka's easy "& then I became a combat medic & everything was wonderful, but Gerri (played by Kristin Griffith) ended up coming full circle, & Goldor's coda had promising verisimilitude. Bubba Weiler as Zeus really has to hold up the future storyline on his own up until then, & he did a great job, but the interweaving was what we were waiting for. Sure, it is easy to see coming, but it is well done. In the end verdict, I liked it; I had complicated feelings about it, it was imperfect, but I liked it. The flip side of that? It was twenty-five bucks. I have no problem trying to sell my friends on an imperfect play that costs ten or fifteen dollars, but twenty-five becomes fifty-- you aren't going to go alone, are you-- & at that point, it becomes harder to really tell your friends to risk it. Sort of academic; today is the last day.