Suggested by The Aspern Papers by Henry James, this absorbing and witty play captures the special mood and spirit of the famous novella while recasting the events in modern terms. Presented by the New York Goldmine Theatre Company.
The Golden Age, by A.R. Gurney, takes place in a once elegant townhouse in Manhattan, the home of Isabel Hastings Hoyt, an aging but still charming recluse who had been a glittering figure in the literary salons of the 1920s. Now short of money, Mrs. Hoyt is concerned about the future of her granddaughter, Virginia, a twice-divorced near-alcoholic whom she hopes to see securely married before she herself, as she puts it, "kicks the bucket". In earlier years, Mrs. Hoyt was friend and confidante of many world figures, especially F. Scott Fitzgerald who, it is rumored, used her as the model of Daisy in The Great Gatsby. This fact leads Tom, an ambitious young academic, to seek her out. Tom believes that Mrs. Hoyt possesses an unpublished chapter from Gatsby which depicts passionate lovemaking between Gatsby and Daisy, a literary treasure which he is determined to procure no matter how devious the means. It is this obsession which sets up the increasingly complex and perilous relationship which develops between the three protagonists - a relationship which, inexorably, leads to the startling and ironic dénouement of the play.