In a season which seems crowded with new musicals, the play Significant Other finds its way to The Booth Theatre after playing off-Broadway last year. Joshua Harmon, a young 30-something playwright, has written a millennial play that people of all ages can enjoy. Four best friends (3 women and one gay men) have created their own family as many do when they live in the huge city of New York. Staying focused on their own worlds, paying little attention to things outside of their neighborhood, and playing the role of therapist, friend, and even wedding date for each other. However it is in those late 20s when so many watch their friends marry and one can't help but ask the question: what happens to me?
Those are Jordan Berman's issue as he watches his girlfriends find love and futures while he can't seem to find a boyfriend and even create a present - let alone a future. Gideon Glick is absolutely wonderful as the glue that holds this group together. Neurotic, energetic, funny, moving - he runs the gamut of emotions...with hardly ever leaving the stage. He also lovingly cares for his grandmother (played beautifully by Barbara Barrie) and listens to her sage advice. (Side note: I was told Ms. Barrie made her Broadway debut at this very theater and it's so wonderful to see her back on stage.)
I owe Mr. Glick a HUGE apology (and a compliment) because I didn't think I cared for him...only because of a role he played on a web series that I watched. I now realize he played THAT character so well, it was the character I didn't care for! He is an incredible actor and I actually feel this season could see lead actor in a play and a musical Tonys BOTH going to young men.
The three female friends are all wonderful creating very different young professionals in New York City. Sas Goldberg starts the play off with a bang as Kiki and never lets up, Rebecca Naomi Jones gives Vanessa a wonderful arc as we see her views on marriage (and funerals) change, and Lindsay Mendez is so real as the best friend Laura as I believed she and Jordan have been friends for years. John Behlmann and Luke Smith round out the cast with the task of playing three characters each and every man is so different that you find yourself wondering if the cast is actually larger. Bravo to this awesome ensemble of performers...some of which are making Broadway debuts.
Trip Cullman has done a great job at directing this piece which often reads as a sitcom (Friends meets Will & Grace), but also has a lot of heart to it. A shout out to Mark Wendland for the inspired set design which takes us to numerous locations.
I attended with my own group of girlfriends (we are all in late 40s/50s) and each of us commented how we can relate to portions of this show. We can either remember what it was like to be that age and wondering what all was yet to come, being the one calling a friend and it going to voicemail because they have a new love in their life, or creating a family of friends that you can turn to whenever you need them. Age doesn't matter...those significant people in our lives stay significant for a reason.
If you're visiting New York and you are looking for an alternative to a musical or a revival this season - go see this show!