It can sometimes spell trouble when an Off-Off Broadway production features cast members of a certain age; seniors willing to perform for peanuts have been known to sink otherwise competent ensembles with an awkward amateurishness. It's hard to say whether Rae C. Wright is in fact an AARP card-carrier—she's in impeccable shape, for one thing—but her appearance in Tina Satter's sort-of-musical Family initially gave me pause. It shouldn't have. Far from scuttling the show into a community theater morass, she electrifies Satter's enjoyably daffy production with an incisive, intelligent humor, portraying the matriarch (Mum) of a once-prominent family in decline.

Wright's performance is just one good reason to see Family, which takes place inside a decaying island estate à la Grey Gardens, occupied by Mum and her two petulant but not loathsome adolescent daughters, Lily (Emily Davis) and Frarajaca (Erin Markey). Mum has prevailed upon Lily to accept the gift of frozen sperm from the late Rudolf Nureyev and inseminate herself before it expires. Frarajaca is a wannabe performance artist in the Sophia Coppola vein, and while Lily mopes around the house dreading motherhood, Frarajaca's busy with her artsy-preppy friends practicing a big conceptual song and dance number for an "Art Fair" competition. Called "Beautiful Gangbang," the sultry choreographed freakout expertly skewers privileged teens' affection for gangsta style.

The 80-minute Family, Wes Anderson by way of Mac Wellman, ricochets into so many different directions that it's impossible to classify, but why bother anyway? There are enough absurdly funny moments to lend Satter's plot-less play an endearing buoyancy, as when Lily's critique of her sister's "work" devolves into a spat that climaxes with Lily shouting, "Don't say I don't know anything about gangbangs!" When Rolf (Joseph Keckler), a sexually ambiguous aesthete, starts hanging around, the momentum stalls a bit, and his big soul number "How Far Have We Come" drags on for too long—but then, surprisingly, becomes interesting again. The reversal is representative of Family as a whole, and if the show adds up to less than the sum of its parts, well, so do a lot of families.

Family continues at Ontological through August 22nd. Tickets cost $17.