BWW Reviews: SIGNIFICANT OTHER Takes a Familiar Plot Into The 21st Century
There's a slang term - some celebrate it and others find it offensive - for single straight women whose closest relationships are with openly gay men. If there's a similar term for single openly gay men whose closest relationships are with straight women, it would certainly apply to the central character of Joshua Harmon's sentimental comedy, Significant Other.
Nearing thirty and rather gameless on the dating scene, nice Jewish guy Jordan (appealing and sweet Gideon Glick), a gay man who doesn't seem to have any gay friends, has his calendar booked with attending the showers, bachelorette bashes and weddings of his three female besties. It's not so bad when rambunctious party girl Kiki (Sas Goldberg) and wry Vanessa (Carra Patterson) are lost to coupledom, but stuff gets serious when his best pal Laura (heart-tugging Lindsay Mendez) meets her match.
Jordan and Laura have always had tongue-in-cheek plans to be each other's last resort. At friends' weddings, when guests are invited to join the happy couple in their first dance, the two have traditionally shared that moment. Who is the dateless Jordan supposed to dance with when Laura has her first spin with her new hubby?
Not that he isn't in there trying. Jordan hangs out with the hot new guy at his office (John Behlmann) but he can't figure out if they're on dates or if he's even gay. Visits with his bluntly philosophical grandmother (the wonderful Barbara Barrie) only remind him of his loneliness, even after a promising reconnection with an old acquaintance who accepts his Facebook friend request in 10 minutes.
Tripp Cullman directs with his usual breezy touch that blends seamlessly into the play's emotional upswings; most notably in a fierce confrontation between Jordan and Laura at her bachelorette party.
Wedding bells breaking up that old gang of mine is by no means a new story and with the increasing acceptance of gay marriage it's refreshing to see a dynamic where the straight women just naturally expect to eventually attend Jordan's wedding, but Significant Other, while sweet and amusing, keeps trodding familiar boards.