×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway Review: ‘Significant Other’

With:
Gideon Glick, John Behlmann, Sas Goldberg, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Lindsay Mendez, Luke Smith and Barbara Barrie.

Poor wallflowers. They’re the ones no one asks to dance, to go to the prom, to get married. The wallflower in “Significant Other,” Joshua Harmon’s bittersweet play about four friends and three marriages, is a gay man (winningly played by Gideon Glick) who goes through all the stages of happiness and hurt when each of his straight girlfriends falls in love and marries.

Somebody threw some money at this show since it played Off Broadway at the Roundabout Theater Company two years ago. Trip Cullman repeats his directorial chores with the same insouciant ease while his collaborators — Mark Wendland (set), Kaye Voyce (costumes) and Japhy Weideman (lighting) — make some smart adjustments for the larger Broadway house.  (At 800 seats, the Booth is twice as large as the Laura Pels.)

Playwright Harmon (who also penned the very popular “Bad Jews”) strikes the perfect balance between comedy and pathos — with the emphasis on comedy — in this good-natured meditation on love and friendship.  Say what you will about eternal friendship, it goes right out the window when love comes through the door.

Jordan Berman, played with unassuming sweetness by the engaging Glick (“Spring Awakening”), is an unattached gay man with three best friends. Kiki (a comic delight in Sas Goldberg’s saucy performance) is the outrageously fearless show-off. Good-natured Vanessa is Miss Popularity and, as played by new cast member Rebecca Naomi Jones, an unpretentious raving beauty. Warm, trusting Laura is Jordan’s true soulmate in Lindsay Mendez’s open-hearted performance.

Harmon clearly loves his demographic of 20-something singles who pride themselves on their grown-up sense of irony. He knows their pop-culture allusions, shares their musical tastes, and revels in their newly found freedoms. The wonder of his humor is that, while it reflects a youthful sensibility, his clever jokes appeal to all ages.

But Harmon also acknowledges the sexual stirrings that will eventually break up the little gang. One by one, beginning with brash Kiki, the girls fall in love and marry, and Jordan’s life suddenly becomes an endless round of bridal showers and weddings and baby showers — and many, many expensive presents.

More than that, he recognizes these rituals as a formal farewell to all the old relationships. Even faithful Laura betrays him by choosing to close-dance with her husband instead of performing a giddy parody with her bestie.  Glick is especially funny — and moving — when Jordan makes a (clumsy) move on his man-crush, a hunk played by hunky John Behlmann, who does additional duty as all three husbands.

Only his Grandma Helene, played by Barbara Barrie with the dark humor of an older, wiser generation, offers Jordan a taste of his own loneliness with her morbid reflections on death, a subject to which she has given much cheery thought. Yes, cheery, because Harmon is that kind of playwright:  He makes you laugh, he makes you laugh harder, and then he makes you choke.

Popular on Variety

Broadway Review: 'Significant Other'

Booth Theater; 800 seats; $135 top. Opened March 2, 2017. Reviewed March 1.  Running time: TWO HOURS, 15 MIN.

Production: A presentation by Jeffrey Richards, Roundabout Theater Company, Rebecca Gold, Ronald Frankel, Spencer Ross, Ira Pittelman & Tom Hulce, Patty Baker, CandyWendyJamiePaulaProductions, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub; Caiola Productions, Adam S. Gordon, In Fine Company, Cody Lassen, Aaron Priest, Darren P. Deverna & Jeremiah J. Harris,  Will Trice, and The Shubert Organization of the Roundabout Theater Company production of a play in two acts by Joshua Harmon.

Creative: Directed by Trip Cullman. Sets, Mark Wendland; costumes, Kaye Voyce; lighting, Japhy Weideman; sound, Daniel Kluger; choreographer, Sam Pinkleton; production stage manager, Samantha Mason.

Cast: Gideon Glick, John Behlmann, Sas Goldberg, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Lindsay Mendez, Luke Smith and Barbara Barrie.

More Legit

  • Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne

    Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne Starring in Broadway Revival of 'American Buffalo'

    Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell will star in an upcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.” The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, [...]

  • Secret Derren Brown review

    Broadway Review: 'Derren Brown: Secret'

    Audiences love to be fooled, whether it’s with clever plotting with a twist, the arrival of an unexpected character or even a charming flimflam man with a British accent. The latter is Derren Brown, and he’s entertaining audiences for a limited run at the Cort Theatre, where he is playing head-scratching mind games and other [...]

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    Broadway Review: 'Betrayal' With Tom Hiddleston

    and Zawe Ashton as a long-married couple and Charlie Cox as the secret lover. Director Jamie Lloyd’s impeccable direction — now on Broadway, after a hot-ticket London run — strips Pinter’s 1978 play to its bare bones: the excruciating examination of the slow death of a marriage.  It’s a daring approach, leaving the characters nowhere [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content