Gimmicks, exposition overload ‘Goldor’

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“Looks like the L train is running tonight,” the narrator of the play “Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero Is Born” jeers at one of the audience members who has partaken in the pre-show dance party on stage. “How many T-shirts do you own with pictures of cereal boxes on them?”

The joke sticks the landing at a downtown Manhattan venue but loses some points when it is revealed that the Brooklynite is a plant, and the jabs are scripted. Though slightly disappointing, this discovery appropriately sets the tone for a show that examines the line between fantasy and reality.

Based on a true story, “Goldor $ Mythyka” follows the story of Bart, alias Goldor (Garrett Neergard), and Holly, also known as Mythyka (Jenny Seastone Stern) — a couple brought together, on the surface, by their love of Dungeons & Dragons. However, it is the couple’s desire to escape the real world for a more exciting one that is the root of their connection.

The play is inspired by the lives of Roger Dillon and Nicole Boyde, a pair who robbed over $8 million from an armored car, earning themselves the title “goth Bonnie and Clyde.” Neergard and Stern endearingly embody their quirky characters with a sincerity that overcomes other chaotic elements of the production.

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The narrator (Bobby Moreno) serves the play well, contributing to the disconnect between fantasy and reality by constantly reminding the audience that they are watching a play. He likens himself to a dungeon master, the orchestrator and storyteller of a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

However, his presence can undermine the stakes of the couple’s theft. He often gives a voice to the things the characters leave purposefully unsaid, potentially ruining the tension crea-ted when left only implied. The heavy exposition present in his dialogue takes away from the development of the other characters in real time.

Similarly, the small space is loaded up with projections and over-the-top light shows — gimmicks that also distract from the action instead of adding to it.  The story is transcendent and could stand on its own, but unfortunately, director Shana Gold doesn’t let it.

“Goldor $ Mythyka” is presented by the New Georges and is playing now through April 27 at the New Ohio Theater, located at 154 Christopher St. 

Olivia George is theater and books editor. Email her at [email protected]

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