In 2007, a young Ohio couple with a penchant for role-playing games robbed nearly $8 million from an armored car company and were promptly arrested. Some hailed them as heroes, some as idiots. But only playwright Lynn Rosen recognized them as inspiration for a new drama, Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero Is Born, playing at the New Ohio, produced by New Georges.
In this exuberant if unfocused script, nerdy Bart (Garrett Neergaard) and shy Holly (the irrepressibly adorable Jenny Seastone Stern) strike up a romance based on a shared interest in gaming dice and fantasy. Trapped in a boring midwestern town, they begin to dream of a life less ordinary and the crimes to fund it.
It’s a good story, but Rosen and director Shana Gold seem less than confident in its telling. They load it with a dungeon master narrator (the smooth-talking Bobby Moreno), lots of expository projections, and a number of supplementary characters, many of them ancillary. More problematically, even the supposedly naturalistic scenes are written and played with energetic weirdness, so that when Bart and Holly retreat into their fantasy world, it doesn’t seem much different from or stranger than the real one.
Even so, the show still taps into the desire so many of us feel for lives more intrepid, more exciting, and certainly better funded than the ones we’re stuck with. As our dungeon master says, “Don’t you wish the world were what you made it?” Well, of course we do. Although with perhaps fewer orcs and battle-axes than the one Bart and Holly prefer.