Almost 30, Jordan Berman is going through a “tough chapter” in his life. And it’s one that he’s certainly not above sharing to the point of gaining both sympathy and annoyance from his circle of friends.

Joshua Harmon’s “Significant Other,” co-directed in its Maine premiere at Good Theater by Sally Wood and Benn May, might play best to young audiences or at least the young-at-heart. But the play contains enough laughs and bits of wisdom, delivered through spirited performances, to entertain those open to (re)visiting the thrills and chills of romance, middle-class style.

Kiki, Vanessa and Laura are each quickly finding “the one” and planning weddings. The more thoughtful among them reconcile these “conformist celebrations” with their more rebellious past by gently sprinkling them with slight touches of irony. The reality is that they are loving every minute of the bachelorette parties and other traditional gatherings leading up to and including the main event.

Friend Jordan seems to be stalled in a looking-for-love phase while the others are giddily move on.  Already packing “obsessive tendencies,” the young man starts thinking dark thoughts. He claims to “hate being a person.”

Campbell as Jordan and Kim Gordon as his grandmother Helene in “Significant Other.”

Thomas Ian Campbell takes the lead role as the mostly likeable young fellow given to leaving lonely phone messages and fretting over how to boldly express his desires. His attraction to coworker Will (Jared Mongeau) results in a number of unresolved risk-versus-regret moments that further undermine his limited self-confidence. Overtures from another coworker Evan (Jay Mack) also confuse him. His retreats to gain insight from his grandmother Helene (Kim Gordon) prove unhelpful, at least at first.

Campbell delivers his (very) many lines with sensitivity to both his character’s weaknesses and his tentative and awkward attempts to get out of his own way. By the second act, his Jordan has almost, but thankfully not quite, worn out his welcome (with his friends and the audience).


Meanwhile, the brides to be, loveably domineering Kiki (Erica Murphy), ultimately not-so-cynical Vanessa (Heather Irish) and sturdy Laura (Casey Turner), share raunchy jokes and friskily throw around expletives while rhapsodizing about love and marriage. They feel for Jordan. But life must go on and they all want a good future for themselves with her soon-to-be spouses (played by Mongeau and Mack in multiple roles).

Turner’s Laura, as the best of the best friends of Jordan, shows the most sympathy for his plight in scenes that resonate warmth and a hard-won realization that their youthful sort of fantasy marriage meant something more than “just talking” to him. Tempers flare in the play’s most harrowing scene.

The minimal onstage set by Steve Underwood is enhanced by projections that establish contexts (bars, reception halls, etc.) for each scene in the two-hour play. The costumes by Michelle Handley range from street casual to wedding day excess. The flapper dresses are a particular highlight in this, dare we say, engaging little play.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.