“The Twilight of the Golds” at Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs is a little show with big themes — huge themes, in fact.
The dramedy by Jonathan Tolins wrestles — and I do mean wrestles — with love limitations, philosophy, genetic testing, eugenics, sexual orientation, evolution, bigotry, opera, parenting, religion, Richard Wagner and probably a host of other things that whizzed by in a perfectly paced two hours (including a 15-minute intermission).
In the show, the year is 1993 and Suzanne (Sarah Miller) is pregnant. Her husband, Rob (Jeffrey Scott Leshansky), works for a pharmaceutical company, where a genetic test is in development. “It’s just information,” Rob says, trying to soothe his wife.
After having the test, the couple discover that there is a good chance their child will be gay. They consider aborting the fetus. “We’d have a lot of nature to nurture against,” Suzanne explains to her gay brother, David (James Hesse), who is horrified by the prospect of what he considers science ushering in a LGBT genocide. Both siblings (and Rob, up to a point) shift plenty of blame on their parents, Phyllis (Phyllis Spear) and Walter (Larry Kent Bramble).
You’re probably wondering where the comedy is in this dramedy. The humor in “The Twilight of the Golds” is dry and hollow, buried in layers of Aaron Sorkin-esque, whip-smart dialogue and brilliantly acted monologues that each character addresses to the audience. Spears’ pseudo-soliloquy especially sticks to the heart long after she’s absorbed back into the action.
The play is directed with care and an acidic sense of wit by Michael Leeds, and the actors deftly steer it away from the didactic. The production would have been tiresome had it tested the supposed exigencies of an audience who has — according to polls and surveys — moved on from 1993.
But those large themes, they loom on.
“The Twilight of the Golds” will run through Oct. 27 at the Broward Stage Door Theatre, 8036 Sample Road, in Coral Springs. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. matinees Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $38 ($16 for students with valid ID). Call 954-344-7765 or go to StageDoorTheatre.com.