Can watching your best friends go off and get married while you are single and having trouble even scoring a date lead to a nervous breakdown?
That’s nearly the case in Joshua Harmon’s “Significant Other,” a sweet and sour comedic drama about and intended for millennials in their late 20s living in New York who are in the midst of making the transition from post-college dating and late night partying to marching down the aisle.
It resembles a contemporary take on Sondheim’s trailblazing relationship musical “Company” in which Bobby, the eternal bachelor, is openly gay. As it happens, Barbara Barrie, an original cast member of “Company,” has a supporting role in “Significant Other.”
Jordan (Gideon Glick), its protagonist, is an obsessive-compulsive, nice Jewish boy. He may lack a boyfriend, but at least he has the support of his gossipy gal pals Kiki (Sas Goldberg), Vanessa (Rebecca Naomi Jones) and Laura (Lindsay Mendez).
But then they land husbands and Jordan becomes increasingly agitated by his lack of progress and angry at getting left behind. All the same, he needs to dutifully show up to their weddings, bridal showers and bachelorette parties.
When the play premiered off-Broadway two years ago, I was turned off by its lack of resolution and the static scenes between Jordan and his grandmother (Barrie). On second viewing, I can appreciate it as a fully-developed portrait of a shy, sensitive and self-effacing young man confronting social pressure and his own emotional needs.
There is a constant fluidity to Trip Cullman’s production, which bounces between short scenes using a tall set that evokes workplace, club and home settings and precise lighting changes.
Glick (“Spring Awakening,” “Speech and Debate”) is so adorable and vulnerable that you feel compelled to jump onstage, give him a hug and find him a date or at least introduce him to Yente the Matchmaker.