They’re writing songs of love, but not for Jordan Berman. The main character in Joshua Harmon’s powerful first Broadway play, Significant Other, is falling apart as his best friends partner up and marry while he can’t get a relationship going. It may sound like material for a lightweight romantic comedy, but Harmon doesn’t settle for familiar problems or solutions. Instead, he delves thoroughly into Jordan’s troubled psyche to reveal a young man sinking from heartbreak.
A gay New Yorker nearing the end of his 20s, Jordan (Gideon Glick) has been close friends with three straight gals, Kiki (Sas Goldberg), Vanessa (Rebecca Naomi Jones) and especially, Laura (Lindsay Mendez), since college. He’s not very good at relationships, although he longs to be in one, but he’s a pro at obsessing over guys he barely knows and planning a life with them, when they’re not even sure about a second date.
Feeling abandoned as his three friends find their significant others, Jordan becomes increasingly desperate about being left alone. He’s even scared of losing his aging grandmother (a sublime Barbara Barrie), who talks casually about ending her life but insists it’s “just talking.”
“It feels like all my friends are dying,” Jordan agonizes when Laura, with whom he’s forged the tightest emotional bond, becomes seriously involved with a fellow teacher. Is he too self-obsessed or just unlucky? Unwilling to change or unwilling to settle? The strength of Significant Other lies in Harmon’s willingness to explore all these possibilities without forcing a definitive conclusion on his audience.
Harmon and director Trip Cullman are blessed to have an actor as versatile and gifted as Glick playing Jordan. Onstage for almost the entire two-hour-15-minute run time, he can be fun and lively as well as lonely and desperate, and various shades in between. Even when Jordan is at his most whiny and self-indulgent, Glick makes him a relatable human being, warts and all, who's struggling to adjust to his rapidly changing world.
And the road ahead for Jordan looks like it will be a bumpy one, at least for a while. Harmon doesn’t offer the typical reassurances of the romantic comedy genre — only for Jordan the realization that he has to take this journey alone.
By Diane Snyder
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Barbara Barrie, John Behlmann, Gideon Glick, Sas Goldberg, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Lindsay Mendez, Luke Smith
Preview Open/ Preview Close Dates
Preview Opening 2/14/2017
222 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036