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Theater Review: “Significant Other”

Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm.
Photo credit:
Diversional Theatre

Is life just a matter of finding a “Significant Other?” 

It is, according to Joshua Harmon’s play of that title. Anthony Methvin directs the San Diego premiere through June 23 at Diversionary Theatre.  

Harmon gives us four 20-something close-knit buddies whose socializing as a group will decrease as each finds that certain someone.

First up is ditzy Kiki (Jamie Criss), who everyone thought would be the last to go. But here she is at her bachelorette party, getting ready to tie the knot with Conrad (Bryan Banville). 

The event is fraught with significance for all of them, but most especially for Jordan (Tom Zohar), who is besties with Laura (Megan Carmitchel) and (it seems) would marry her in a trice if he were straight. This is a situation he frets about at length. But then, he frets about everything at length, often to strangers in email (though the girls advise him not to). 

They’ve all made their share of hook-up mistakes. Vanessa (Andréa Agosto), for example, just broke off her office romance with a married colleague. Good plan, but will she find her white knight? 

Then there’s Jordan’s grandma Helene (Dagmar Kruse Fields), who wants to take a pill, tuck herself in bed and not wake up. But she’s a good grandma, and first wants Jordan to be happy. He spends a fair amount of time trying to convince her that he’s doing “fine,” though it’s increasingly obvious that he doesn’t believe it.

But then Jordan sees Will, the new guy at work, getting out of the pool, wet and gorgeous. Jordan gives us (what else?) an extensive ode to his gorgeous wet body. And falls in love with his green Converse sneakers. 

Jordan invites Will for a romantic date at a documentary film about the Franco-Prussian War, though nobody seems to know whether the “Francos or the Prussians” won (have these guys never read any history?) And will it work out? 

Criss is adorably scattered as Kiki; Carmitchel solid as Laura; Agosto amusing as the adventurous Vanessa. The always-reliable Fields comes through again as Helene.

Methvin directs this all-over-the-place play with a sure hand.

Banville and Wil Bethmann play three characters each and are excellent at all. 

Justin Humphres’ set is appropriate for a show that has to be here, there and back again.

Elisa Banzoni’s costumes are suitable as well, and lighting and sound are well handled by Joel Britt and Melanie Chen Cole, respectively.

“Significant Other” is funny, familiar and a major tour-de-force for Zohar, whose numerous monologues are often amusing but a bit too whiny and lengthy for my taste.  

But who can’t identify with the sad comment that “I’m 29 years old and no one has ever said “I love you”? 

The details 

“Significant Other” plays through June 23, 2019 at Diversional Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard in University Heights 

Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm.

Tickets: (619) 220-0097 or www.diversionary.org