My significant other, Mickey, was out of town, so my old high school buddy, Lily, dragged herself from Brooklyn in a downpour to meet me at the Booth Theatre to see Broadway’s SIGNIFICANT OTHER.
From what she had read she couldn’t relate to the premise of the story. I had to promise her Kit Kats and M & M’s.
“Barbara Barrie plays a widowed grandmother to a twenty something grandson” she whined. “Who cares? I’m not there yet. And I don’t need to listen to kids younger than mine grumble about finding thee one. Been there and done that.”
Finally, the play began and finally Lily shut up. By the time Sas Goldberg (Kiki) spoke her third line Lily was laughing and choking on her M & M’s. I was laughing, too, and bursts of howls bellowed from around the theatre.
There were soft, teary times too and because the cast was extraordinary those moments were genuine.
Jordan Berman, a gay 29 year old is played by Guideon Glick, a gay 28 year old. Yes, acting was still required. He was charming and vulnerable as he cried and ranted each time his best friends Kiki, Vanessa (played by the fabulous Rebecca Naomi Jones and Laura played by the very talented Lindsay Mendez) found the love of their lives and beat him to the alter.
Barbara Barrie, (Helene Berman) plays a widow who are like many widows I’ve counseled, not quite broken, but not quite whole. She attempts to be to Jordan what all of us grandparents strive to be, wise and beloved.
In the end she persuades her grandson to imagine his life like chapters in a book and his next best thing could be a page away.
As the audience jumped to their feet to give the cast a standing ovation Lily stood right along with them. After she wiped the chocolate from her teeth, my buddy, producer Jamie deRoy led us backstage to meet the cast.
I am excited to report to you that Ben Stiller, his wife and teenage daughter were there! They were friendly and outgoing and I overheard Barbara Barrie say as she hugged Ben,
“Remember how we used to call you Benji?” She squeezed his cheek and looked at him lovingly like he was still six years old. I could tell he loved it. He may have blushed, but he had a deep tan so it was hard to tell.
It must be cool to be ‘babied’ by an actress who was nominated for an Academy Award, an Oscar and three Emmy Awards. The closest I ever came to being babied by a celebrity is when Hugh Jackman accidentally stepped on my foot and said “Sorry, Baby…”
We all took photos and got a chance to tell John Behlmann how great he was playing three roles, Will, Conrad and Tony. Also, we posed with Luke Smith who was fantastic as Zach, Evan and Roger.
SIGNIFICANT OTHER turned out to be a wonderful theatre experience. Someone please tell Joshua Harmon, the playwright that Lily gave it two thumbs up. I’m sure he’s been holding his breath.