top of page

Dobama Theatre’s ‘Significant Other’ is a very modern tale of love and marriage

As you walk into the theater the first thing to hit you is the music. It is a selection of current “love” songs played really loud setting the scene for the evening to come. Next, you notice (for it is difficult not to) a seating booth set for a bachelorette party with gold inflated words arranged above announcing “SAME PENIS FOR EVER”. There is a fine line these days between comedy and crude and sometimes it borders on the later with an occasional slip over that border. It is hard to say where the play “Significant Other” fits in this scheme of things. I find myself unable to pass judgment so I will leave it up to you to form your own opinion.

Jordan (Scott Esposito) is gay and close friends with three gal pals from his college days nearly a decade ago. There is Laura (Katherine Nash), a white teacher type with whom Jordon has had a live-in relationship with prior to his coming out. There is Vanessa (Mary-Francis Miller) a Black no nonsense personality book editor and there is Kiki (Kat Shy) an Asian woman who is totally unfiltered and a bit flighty at times and works at the same company as Jordan. The bachelorette is for Kiki who is slated to be the first to break ground in the marriage game of life having met Conrad (Michael Glavan). As with all modern brides, she is uncertain about her choice and her future but is brave enough to take that chance. The four schlep off to Kentucky from New York City for the nuptials.

During the wedding, Vanessa, who has been dating a married man, meets her future husband, Roger (Adam Rawlings) a nerdy polar opposite and the two fall inexplicably in love and begin planning their wedding. They stay in New York City for their ceremony. Lastly, Laura meets the man of her dreams at a conference, Tony (Michael Glavan) and her wedding dress is suddenly ordered as well. They decide to have a beach wedding in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Jordan is going through a rough patch in terms of relationships. He falls head over heels in love at a company pool party after seeing a male co-worker climb out of the pool in swim trunks. It is never clear if Will (Michael Glavan) is actually gay. They go to a documentary about the Franco-Prussian War, have drinks and talk at the office. When Jordan sends a long and detailed e-mail stating his love and desire (totally against the three girls recommendations) Will leaves the company and moves cross town to another borough without a reply.

Next Jordon re-initiates a relationship with a former co-worker, Zach (Adam Rawlings) who dates Jordan on the rebound. They end up kissing on the street which gets Jordan’s hopes up only to be dashed when his new love goes back to his old boy friend. Lastly, he hits up another co-worker, Evan (Adam Rawlings) but the chemistry is simply not there. Thus 29 year old Jordon finds himself on the verge of extreme loneliness with his only social contact his grandmother Helene (Catherine Albers) who is gradually slipping into dementia. Billed as a hilarious comedy it does have its cute moments but nothing approaching laugh out loud status. The nearly two hour show with intermission is a pleasant enough way to spend an evening. Director Colin Anderson keeps the action moving at a good pace.

Let’s talk about the set design by Richard Morris, Jr. that covers the wide stage. It cleverly encompasses a night club, bed room, kitchen, office common room and bar as well as Grandma’s living room using just enough props to convey the spatial ideas. Quite brilliant. Adam Ditzel’s lighting design is brilliant, emphasizing the various moods of the work. Sound designer Jim Swonger has a nice balance that is pleasing to the ear. Suwatana Rockland outfits the cast in appropriate costumes that are stylish and modern. Andy Zicari handles the props that convey the right ideas.

As for the actors, they are superb. Scott Esposito as Jordon nails the part as the winsome gay friend of the girls. You feel his sorrow and anguish as true love fails to fall his way. Katherine Nash as Laura is perfect as the “just friend’s/significant other” who still cares deeply about Jordan. Mary-Francis Miller as Vanessa shows that there is somebody for everybody and that love can come between two opposites. Kat Shy as Kiki is a tornado of energy. Michael Glavan does a superb job in the three roles of Will, Conrad and Tony and Adam Rawlings is equally adept as Evan, Roger and Zach.

While this show offers very high production values the use of language and mature adult themes might be a turnoff for some theater goers. This is modern theater that looks at current situations. Buy a ticket, see the show, then form your own opinion.

The Dobama Theatre production of “Significant Other” will be on stage at 2340 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio through May 19, 2024. For more information and purchase tickets go to or call (216) 932-3396.


  • Facebook B&W
  • Twitter B&W
Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

bottom of page