Deep into the second act of Joshua Harmon’s uproarious and poignant Significant Other, three New York women—played by Lindsay Mendez, Sas Goldberg and Rebecca Naomi Jones—are alone onstage at a bachelorette party, talking about their friend Jordan (the sensational Gideon Glick), who has just stormed off in a huff of rage and hurt. Their brief dialogue stands out for one reason: It’s the play’s only moment without Jordan.
Gay characters in mass culture often serve as supportive accessories in the marriage plots of others, but Harmon keeps Jordan in sharp, brutally revealing focus. Anyone whose heart has ever been broken can relate to his plight. Pushing 30, he has never been in a serious relationship, and his desperation to change that—sabotaged by his obsessiveness and awkwardness—only makes things worse. Glick delivers a star-making, gut-wrenching performance of deep sweetness and quicksilver mood shifts; a scene in which he considers sending an intense love email to a handsome coworker is a masterpiece of comic anxiety, and his climactic rant of pent-up resentment earns vigorous applause.
Significant Other was very entertaining in its 2015 Off Broadway at the Roundabout, and the production at the Booth Theatre—directed with ideal snap by Trip Cullman, and featuring most of the strong original cast—is even better: The comedy and awww-inspiring emotional moments have expanded to scale. Don’t underestimate the value of a smart new American romantic comedy on Broadway: It’s a rare thing indeed, and worth celebrating. See it, and bring a date if you can. You’ll want a hand to hold.