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‘Twilight of the Golds’ asks probing questions

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In the tiny theater, seating about 50 people, the play "Twilight of the Golds" was presented by an experienced, quite talented group of actors and actresses. The finely written play is by Jonathan Tolins, directed by Risa Morimoto, a renowned filmmaker making her theatrical debut. The play had considerable success on Broadway and was first presented at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

"I was drawn to Jonathon Tolins' writing as he has beautifully integrated comedy, tragedy and opera in this tale of love, life and acceptance," Morimoto writes in the program notes.

Tolins' work tackles the disparate attitudes of scientists and ethicists to the questions the world is now facing and will continue to face through the 21st century. Science and technology are at a critical juncture. Who can make the decisions about an unborn fetus, that, after testing, appears to show "symptoms" that could lead to the child being born a homosexual. It's true, science can give us information never imagined before, but will this newfound knowledge be at the expense of man's greatest gift, his humanity?

The experienced actors, Lenn Gross as Rob Stein, Georgia Hatzis as Suzanne Gold-Stein, Harris Hatzissimou Philip as Walter Gold, Robert Keller as David Gold, and Vicki Klein as Phyllis Gold, capture the close-knit Gold family and son-in-law who become enmeshed in the debate over how far science should mettle.

What is man's understanding of knowledge from the scientists' research? What messages are being sent to future generations about a life that is precious, and deserving of being born. How do we know what the baby's full potential will be? Who will have the final word on homosexuality - is it inborn or acquired behavior? Is it sinful?

Tolins is not afraid to present options or contrary opinions. He poses the fundamental questions in such a manner as to bring greater understanding of this thorny subject.

Tolins and Morimoto make sure the dilemma is fully covered from all viewpoints of members of the Gold family. David Gold likens life to Wagner's dramatic opera, "The Ring," excerpts of which are shown on screen video, interspersed with the hard-hitting, no-holds-barred dialogue.

The final performance of "Twilight" was last month, but if it was an indication of the quality of upcoming productions by The Greek Cultural Center, they should not be missed.

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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