The first thing I do when I hear about a production we’ll be reviewing, is to get a feeling for the production by checking out other reviews, which is what I did with Significant Other by Joshua Harmon. I found reviews from the original Broadway run. The reviews made the play sound hilarious; it was funny and heart breaking at the same time.
Director Chris Serface lucked out and saw this play in 2017. He liked the friends and the interaction, but mostly he enjoyed the character of the grandmother who provided a shoulder to both laugh and cry on. As a teenager I saw my Missouri grandmother often. She ran an old motel located between Tacoma and Parkland. She let me sleep in, do a few chores and then we talked and played cards.
Jordan’s grandmother, Helene Berman (Sharry O’Hare) a stalwart actor in the area. She enjoyed the moments on stage almost as much as the rest of us did. We saw her in Calendar Girls and in the video Assisted Living during the first invasion of COVID.
Jordan (Nick Fitzgerald), a young gay man, is the good friend of three single, fashionable, young women. He is their unofficial escort to local clubs. They all comment and laugh and struggle with their own lives and wonder about the future. As the girlfriends find mates, Nick is feeling lonely without anyone to love him for himself.
Nick played Bobby in Tacoma Little Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line before and after the invasion of COVID. His character’s accepting attitude and dismay at some people were captivating in both versions and he continued that matter of fact look at life in Significant Other as he had done in Chorus Line.
Once again, the computer aided design of the stage at Tacoma Little Theatre deserved an A+. In the blink of an eye, we were transported from one club to another to apartments and almost poolside for a look at abs, shoulders, and more . . . all teasing to Jordan.
Rodman Bolek plays three parts in this production: Will, who works at the same place Josh does and is decidedly neutral to him. He also plays Conrad, and Tony, other men in the mix. Peg and I had reviewed Rodman in both Hay Fever and Laura at Tacoma Little Theatre. Lavinia and I reviewed him in Shakespeare in Love at Tacoma Arts Live.
Paul Richter also played three parts in Significant Others as potential suitors and matches. He has performed locally in Lakewood Playhouse, CenterStage Theatre, and Tacoma Arts Live.
The girlfriends include Kiki (Tryphaena Singleton), definitely the most provocative, Vanessa (Amanda McCarther), almost Kiki’s equal in playfulness. Both had multiple credits and did a wonderful job of being the girl friends of the third in the trio, Laura (Corissa DeVerse). Laura is the most sympathetic to Jordan. Laura and Jordon are the best of sympathetic friends and share even more than their buddies Vanessa and Kiki. It ends up being painful for Jordan when Laura finds her mate and he still doesn’t have one. Peg and I had seen her as Lauren in Kinky Boots at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, as well as Lucy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at CenterStage Theatre in Federal Way.
Jordan did a wonderful job of wishing for love, and keeping his hopes up. We laugh, we cheer him on, and we keep pulling for him to find the right person. We know, sooner or later, Jordan’s Significant Other will rise from the swimming pool, or turn the corner, or be introduced at the exactly right moment. We know it will happen for the ever yearning and hopeful Jordan.
Despite the abandonment of live theatre because of COVID 19, almost all the TLT artistic staff is still working together. We’ve only seen a few changes, but nothing that threw the team off track. TLT is still in good hands.
Significant Other runs through Sunday, May 7. For tickets, go to https://tacomalittletheatre.csstix.com/tickets