Theater Review: “House of Gold” @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Parts of House of Gold are thrillingly innovative, so it’s disheartening when its dialogue and thematic content remain hollow. Director Sarah Benson created an ambitious set, one that finds new ways to present on-stage action, and on this level it’s easy to give the play a hearty recommendation. But the characters have one too many screws loose and their obsessions are too skewed, so they lose personalities and become unwanted caricatures. I suspect this approach is deliberate. Playwright Gregory S. Moss clearly has a bone to pick with childhood beauty pageants, an aspect of Americana that was a hot-button issue over a decade ago. Some actors fill their roles nicely, but with a dearth of chemistry, it gets uncomfortable when supposedly funny lines don’t even elicit a chuckle.

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