Angst-filled, laugh-centric SIGNIFICANT OTHER gets outstanding production at Dobama.

By: May. 07, 2024
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Artistic Director Nathan Motta says of Joshua Harmon’s SIGNIFICANT OTHER, which is having its regional premiere at Dobama, “This play is both a fun night out at the theatre to share with friends and a thought-provoking examination of adult relationships, emotional wellness, and the ways we connect with the people in the world around us.”

Dobama bills itself as Cleveland’s Off-Broadway Theatre, with the goal of examining our contemporary world.  Their plays may not appeal to the older, more traditional based theater-goer, but it does give snapshots of the world in which we presently live.  Their script choice is thinking-people’s theater which is often filled not only with angst, but dark humor.

SIGFNIFICANT OTHER is a perfect script for Dobama! 

The story was written by Joshua Harmon, the author of BAD JEWS.  As was the case of in that script, SIGNIFICANT OTHER centers on companionship, loneliness and love.

The play centers on Jordan, a gay, Jewish, twenty-something who has a strong loyalty to his near end-of-life Boobie (grandmother) and who is the best friend of three females.  His life besides some joyous moments, is filled with the angst of not being able to find a boyfriend with whom to have a long relationship, marriage and children.

The angst increases as one-by-one his friend-girls, each finds a mate.  Jordan attends and participates in showers, bachelorette parties and weddings.  Everyone’s, but his own!

Crush after crush, even ones that seem promising, lead to frustration and increased insecurity.

Jordan, increasingly “discovers that the only thing harder than finding love is supporting the loved ones around you when they do.”

The play has received critical acclaim ever since it was first produced in 2015.  The “New York Times” called SIGNIFICANT OTHER, “A tenderly unromantic romantic comedy, as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring.”

The play highlights the adage, “We enter relationships for a season, a reason or forever.  Jordan wants forever from his connections, an unrealistic expectation, which often leads to intrapersonal conflicts.

Dobama’s production, under the clearly focused directing of Colin Anderson, is filled with fine acting, clearly-focused characterizations and well-tuned humor countered by seriousness.

BroadwayWorld and Cleveland Critics Circle acting award winning Scott Esposito, is superb as Jordan.  He swings in his manic angst-ridden reactions to his life with clarity and consistency.  This is another award-winning worthy performance!

He is well supported by his friend-girls, Mary-Francis R. Miller (Vanessa), Kat Shy (Kiki), Katherine Nash (Laura) as well as Michael Glavan and Adam Rawlings, who excellent portray multi-male roles.  

One of the area’s finest vintage actors, Catherine Albers, portrays Jordan’s Boobie with humor and warmth. 

The technical aspects of the show: scenic design by Richard Morris Jr., lighting design by Adam Ditzel, sound design by Jim Swonger, costume design by Suwatana Rockland and props design by Andy Zicari all enhance the staging.   Hurrah to the crew, who do a fine job of moving set pieces at a rapid and accurate pace! 

Dobama’s Full Circle program actively engages members from communities represented in the scripts the theater produces.  For this production, the theater’s partner is the LGBT Community Center.

Capsule judgment.  SIGNIFICANT OTHER is a significant contemporary play that gets an outstanding production.  Go experience the fine performance of Scott Esposito, and the rest of the cast, and be exposed to a must-see production!

SIGNIFICANT OTHER runs through May 19, 2024.  For tickets: 216-932-3396 or visit:


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