Sylviane Gold was born on Feb. 17, 1948, in Paris, France. Her parents emigrated the following year, and she was raised in a trilingual household in the Bronx, where her friends and siblings spoke English, her parents French and her grandparents Yiddish. Educated in the public schools of New York City, she got her first taste of journalism on the newspapers of the Bronx High School of Science and Queens College. Her professional career began with a part-time summer job at the Village Voice during her college years. In 1970, she joined the arts and entertainment department of Dorothy Schiff’s New York Post; in 1977, when she left to become the arts editor of the Boston Phoenix, she was writing regularly on theater, dance, and film, as well as editing the paper’s weekend arts pages.
Missing both New York and writing, she left Boston and the Phoenix in 1980 to freelance in New York. Over the next nine years, her byline appeared atop culture stories in a variety of newspapers and magazines, and on reviews of film, dance, books, theater and art in The SoHo Weekly News, The New York Times Book Review, USA Today, Elle, Vanity Fair and the Boston Phoenix. Her Phoenix reviews of Broadway shows won the 1982 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. And from 1982 to 1989, she was the regular off-Broadway theater critic for The Wall Street Journal, and a member of the New York Drama Critics Circle.
She turned to editing again in 1989, when she was named entertainment editor of New York Newsday, overseeing culture coverage for that newspaper, and subsequently for Newsday as well. In 1995, when the New York edition was eliminated, she took up writing once again. Her freelance articles have since appeared in the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times, the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times, American Theater magazine, and other publications. From 1996 to 2004, she reviewed dance regularly for Newsday. Since 1999, she has written the monthly “On Broadway” column for Dance Magazine. From 2007 to 2016, she reviewed theater and art for The New York Times. She was the regular dance writer for Promenade quarterly and has contributed the Off Off Broadway chapter for the annual "Best Plays" yearbooks.
From 1990 until 2007, when it was discontinued, she chaired Newsday’s George Oppenheimer Award committee, which each year honored the best New York-area debut by an American playwright. In 2009, The New York Times briefly filled the void with a new prize, the Times Outstanding Playwright Award, and she again served as chairperson. Until 2016, she chaired the committee that selected the winners of the annual Fred and Adele Astaire Awards for the best dance on Broadway. Those prizes were superseded by the Chita Rivera Awards in 2017, and she now presides over that panel of judges.
Over the years, her assignments have taken her from hotel-room meetings with Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock to backstage encounters with Meryl Streep and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She’s interviewed John Belushi, Whoopi Goldberg and Twyla Tharp, and visited movie sets, rehearsal halls and dance studios across the country and around the world.
In 1972, she married her best friend and soulmate, and after sojourns in Brooklyn Heights, Back Bay, and Gramercy Park, they now live in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.