Zeitgeist Stage Company’s delightful production of “Time of My Life” is a nice reminder of how fun family dinners can be … when it’s not your family.

 

Director David Miller enhances that voyeuristic pleasure by dividing the audience in half, each sitting on one side of the main dining table of the Stratton family’s favorite restaurant. A lucky few get to sit at small tables perfectly designed for eavesdropping.

 

Though dysfunction is not original, the evolution of the characters makes it fascinating to watch. By the time the curtain comes down, you’ll have rooted for each of them to fail and succeed at different points.

 

Maureen Adduci is superb as bitchy, narcissistic Laura, delivering condescending barbs and hateful quips that make her feelings about each family member as obvious as the scowl on her face.

 

The transition of Ellen Soderberg’s Maureen from ditzy, drunk hairdresser to the most likable, sensible person in the family is a joy to witness. Margarita Martinez also shines as Stephanie, the long-suffering wife of eldest son Glyn.

Michael Steven Costello captures the almost futile desperation of patriarch Gerry, while Glen Moore and Evan Sander-son are perfect as sons Glyn and Adam, respectively. Roun-ding out the ensemble is a stellar comic turn by Gene Dante as the entire restaurant staff.

Miller’s typically spot-on attention to detail has never been better as he meticulously unfolds this tale that could have easily become Lifetime fare in lesser hands.

The plot

Alan Ayckbourn’s tale of this well-heeled clan begins with the dinner marking matriarch Laura’s 54th birthday. As the evening progresses in real time, past and future events unfold in a series of flashbacks and fast forwards at smaller side tables that complete the story.