June 18, 2015

Jordan Berman, the hapless but lovable protagonist of Joshua Harmon’s entirely delightful new play, “Significant Other,” seems to see tiers of tulle, sprays of baby’s breath and ill-fitting bridesmaids’ gowns wherever he looks. While Jordan’s romantic life consists of a stalkerish crush on a co-worker that carries little promise of fulfillment, his longtime girlfriends are moving into firm relationships leading to walks down the aisle. Jordan, loyal friend that he is, can only watch in smiling support and increasing loneliness as the bubbling urban life he has led with his friends turns into a series of archived Instagram moments before his watering eyes. Mr. Harmon, the author of the scabrous “Bad Jews,” has fulfilled the promise of that play — and then some — with this tenderly unromantic romantic comedy about a gay man aching for love in the 20-something years, when that ache cuts down to the bone. The play, which opened on Thursday at the Laura Pels Theater in a Roundabout Theater Company production directed with nimble grace by Trip Cullman, is as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring. Writing with a buoyancy belying the play’s undertow of sadness, Mr. Harmon acutely captures that perilous period in young adulthood when friends from college and work begin paling into mere acquaintances. The besties you chatted with almost every day begin pairing off with other people (some you like, some you don’t) and receding into the distance, not entirely but quite perceptibly. Suddenly there’s only the occasional dinner or text exchange to stir the cooling embers of a once-blazing friendship.