Jarrott Productions begins its fourth season with David Jarrott himself expertly assuming the director's chair for the first time in a Jarrott production. His vision of Joshua Harmon's SIGNIFICANT OTHER comes to life upon a smartly designed set, flawless lighting & sound, and a delightful cast of youthful performers.
The time-of-life theme is a common one for
anyone who has ever found themselves contemplating the close of their third decade of life still unattached. Will I find love? Will he be the right one for me? Will I be happy? What will become of the relationships I have forged thus far as I approach that ominous thirtieth birthday? While those of us with more decades in the rearview mirror can relate only in memories of the distant past, it nonetheless has the welcome appeal of a Sex & The City episode.
The play begins with a quartet of inseparable best friends. Their attachment is very close. They share their most secret of secrets, gossip, fears, and joys. The alliance among them is stronger than all others. Inevitably, of course, each is destined to someday meet that one person with whom to share the rest of their lives. At ages 28 and 29, each seems to feel ripe for that love of their life to arrive. The circumstance places stresses upon the band, as loyalties and the strengths of friendships are tested.
Much of the tale is related anecdotally in
conversations among the principles, possibly because so many events would face time constraints if seen as they actually occur. The technique also reinforces the close relationships among them. But it does, in the first act, give a bit of a sense of disconnectedness to the narrative. Some of the story unfolds in dream sequences. Jarrott's set provides an imaginative way of presenting those visually. The play finds its sweet spot midway in the second act, however, with a heated discussion between Joshua and Laura. There, all the hurt and resentment is laid bare, and neither pulls any punches. This scene more than all others exposes the purpose of the tale. The actors Will Douglass and Susan Myburgh find the emotional pinnacle in that moment. I had the sense that the entire story was leading to that climax.
SIGNIFICANT OTHER receives a high reccomendation from Austin Audience. The show is entertaining, the prices are reasonable, and the venue is very pleasant.