Review Roundup: Joshua Harmon's SIGNIFICANT OTHER Opens Off-Broadway
Roundabout Theatre Company's Significant Other officially opens tonight, June 18, and will play a limited engagement through Sunday, August 16, 2015 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.
The off-Broadway production of Joshua Harmon's Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman, features Barbara Barrie (Helene), John Behlmann (Will/Conrad/Tony), Sas Goldberg (Kiki), Gideon Glick (Jordan), Lindsay Mendez (Laura), Carra Patterson (Vanessa) and Luke Smith (Gideon/Evan/Roger).
A quarter-life coming-of-age story that's as hilarious as it is heart-wrenching, Significant Other takes us into the trenches of single life in the city. Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but that's easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles' nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: Jordan Berman, the hapless but lovable protagonist of Joshua Harmon's entirely delightful new play, "Significant Other," seems to see tiers of tulle, sprays of baby's breath and ill-fitting bridesmaids' gowns wherever he looks...Mr. Harmon...has fulfilled the promise of that play - and then some - with this tenderly unromantic romantic comedy about a gay man aching for love in the 20-something years, when that ache cuts down to the bone. The play...directed with nimble grace by Trip Cullman, is as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring. Writing with a buoyancy belying the play's undertow of sadness, Mr. Harmon acutely captures that perilous period in young adulthood when friends from college and work begin paling into mere acquaintances...Jordan is portrayed with wonderful emotional elasticity by Gideon Glick...The concept of career-oriented young women turning into Bridezillas is not in itself fresh, but Mr. Harmon's writing is so witty and insightful that even the jokes about bridesmaids' dresses feel revivified.
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: You know that sinking feeling when you look around and realize that all your friends are married or in serious relationships? Joshua Harmon heads for this lonesome place from the very beginning of his frightfully funny relationship comedy, "Significant Other." Trip Cullman helms his flawlessly cast ensemble through laughter and tears as all but one of four friends finds the right mate. The lone outcast is the youngish gay man deserted by his dearest girlfriends. As played by the irresistibly lovable Gideon Glick, you want to fix him up or take him home for yourself.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: Reflecting on the anxieties of 21st century gay male singledom with wit, warmth and the unmistakable pang of personal experience, this is a honey of a play that's been buffed to a brilliant sheen in director Trip Cullman's snappy production. It's a small miracle that Harmon hasn't yet been lured into a more lucrative career writing for television, but until that happens, it's entirely to the benefit of theatergoers hungry for mainstream work that brings intelligence, humor and penetrating observation to relatable contemporary characters. Most of us, gay or straight, will recognize something of ourselves at some point in our lives in relationship-starved Jordan Berman, played with expert timing, adorably gangling physicality and an aching heart by Gideon Glick.
Adam Feldman, Time Out NY: ...The marriage track is not an easy groove. Just ask Jordan, the protagonist of Joshua Harmon's mordantly amusing and well-observed new play, Significant Other...Directed by Trip Cullman with a gimlet eye for social nuance, Significant Other is not a political play; its dominant mode is sharp-but-bittersweet New York comedy studded with wry one-liners, in the spirit of the late Wendy Wasserstein...And Jordan's problems-insecurity, self-consciousness, obsessiveness, general lack of game-are not unique to gay people; one can imagine Significant Other with a straight female lead. Yet the gay angle makes Harmon's play especially timely and plangent...the play's main assets are right up front, in the keenness of the writing and the humanity of performances.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post: ...identity politics factor a lot less than in playwright Joshua Harmon's last show, the off-Broadway hit "Bad Jews"...Director Trip Cullman keeps the action moving fluidly on Mark Wendland's multilevel set, and the appealing actors mine every drop of comedy and pathos from the script -- which, underneath its brashness, is at heart fairly conventional. Casting the wonderful Barbara Barrie as Jordan's grandmother is a nice touch: She was in the original version of Sondheim's "Company," and "Significant Other" often feels like a modern, nonmusical spin on that show. We may have dating apps now, but finding that special someone isn't any easier than it was back in 1970.
Steven Suskin, The Huffington Post: From the first moments of the first scene...it is immediately clear: Harmon has a knack for very funny dialogue and --as it turns out -- endearing, contemporary characters...Glick gives a lovely performance here as the needy, nerdy, obsessive hero, an ugly duckling who frets and frets that he will never turn into a swan...Glick--who seems fabricated of rubber cement and pipe cleaners -- is marvelous, endearing enough to win us over despite his character's complaints and kvetches. Director Trip Cullman...does a wonderful job as Harmon's play fluidly moves along from scene to scene...The trio of friends is excellently played by three disparate actresses. Goldberg is the abrasively shrill, spoiled bride with a hapless groom from Kentucky...Patterson does well as the sensitive counterpart to the hero, while Mendez...gets the best material and makes the best showing of the three...This one is not as immediately startling as Bad Jews, but every bit as rewarding and funny. Keep 'em coming, Mr. Harmon.
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Photo Credit: Joan Marcus