|Photo by Joan Marcus|
|Lindsay Mendez & Gideon Glick in Significant Other|
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Review by Donna Herman
March 13, 2017
I laughed, I cried, I split my gloves clapping - An old clichť, but it perfectly describes my experience seeing Joshua Harmonís Significant Other at the Booth Theater the other night. WellÖall except the glove part. Who wears gloves in the theater anymore? The modern audience gives a standing ovation. So I did that. Letís try this again. I laughed, I cried, I stood on my feet clapping. And coming from me, thatís actually high praise. Iím kind of a snob about this standing ovation business. I think itís too easily bestowed these days.
And it would be too easy to dismiss Significant Other as yet another comedy with a gay best friend whoís always a bridesmaid, never the bride. For one thing, Jordan (Gideon Glick), the gay best friend in this group of college friends, is the focus of the story for a change. Post college now, the four of them, Kiki (Sas Goldberg) the over-the-top, entitled, princess with a heart of gold dynamo; Vanessa (Rebecca Naomi Jones), the sophisticated, moody, artistic one, Laura (Lindsay Mendez), the grounded, calm, slightly introverted, teacher; and Jordan, the nerdy, insecure, long-winded, gay, only male in the group, have all moved to NYC. They are all working, looking for love, and living in each otherís pockets, sometimes in each otherís apartments.
The structure of the play is simple, but clever. Itís a ten-little-Indians countdown to marriage, with Jordan the last man standing alone at the end. Each girl gets her Romeo and her bachelorette party and wedding, while Jordan doesnít even actually get to be a bridesmaid. He gets to read a poem. And visit his grandmother (Barbara Barrie) who constantly asks him about his ďsocial life.Ē She also relives his happy childhood and goes over and over the photos so he can tell his children all the stories. Itís not like Jordan doesnít try, but heís a hopeless romantic. Heís not interested in a hookup or a one night stand. Heís looking for the real deal like his grandparents and parents had. He rejects the gay cultureís loveless coupling. And while his women friends find happiness, he gets more and more depressed and angry.
There was an excellent article by Michael Hobbes ďThe Epidemic of Gay LonelinessĒ published by the Huffington Post on the same day that Significant Other opened. The astonishing facts are that recent studies show that despite the social and legal advancements gay men specifically have made in the last twenty to thirty years, they are significantly more at risk for depression, suicide and other stress-related health risks than straight males. Itís a public health problem that the medical community is just now beginning to recognize.
Weíve acknowledged that comedians often hide pain behind their jokes. The gay community does that all too well and they have been marginalized and relegated to the sidekick role in our storytelling for far too long. While it may seem like weíre going down that same road in the beginning of Harmonís play, Jordan emerges as the main character fairly quickly. And while the entire cast is wonderful (kudos to Luke Smith and John Behlmann for each playing 3 completely different characters so distinctly), Gideon Glick knocks it out of the park. He made Jordan so relatable to everyone in the audience, that in a couple of scenes the mostly white, middle class audience started talking back to him, or clapping after a rant. I havenít seen that before in a play about mostly white, middle-class people. And, his performance in the final scene, Lauraís wedding, where I swear I saw unshed tears in his eyes, had me shedding them.
What the popular press said...
"The familiar and (you thought) anachronistic plaint, 'Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,' assumes an extra degree of pain in Joshua Harmonís 'Significant Other,' the bubbly, teary comedy that opened on Thursday night at the Booth Theater."
Ben Brantley for New York Times
"Hilarity comes from spry, occasionally crude one-liners showcased to the max by the fine cast as well as Trip Cullmanís deft direction... Glick gives a stellar performance, but self-loathing Jordan gets the pity party he deserves."
Joe Dziemianowicz for New York Daily News
"Significant Other was very entertaining in its 2015 Off Broadway at the Roundabout, and the production at the Booth Theatreódirected with ideal snap by Trip Cullman, and featuring most of the strong original castóis even better: The comedy and aww-inspiring emotional moments have expanded to scale. Donít underestimate the value of a smart new American romantic comedy on Broadway: Itís a rare thing indeed, and worth celebrating. See it, and bring a date if you can. Youíll want a hand to hold."
Adam Feldman for Time Out New York
"In addition to the sharp, insightful writing, a big part of what prevents this delightful play from turning either trite or maudlin is the wonderful performance of Gideon Glick as Jordan."
David Rooney for Hollywood Reporter
External links to full reviews from popular press...
New York Times -
New York Daily News -
Time Out -