Tag Archives: Joshua Harmon

Opening: New England Premiere Of “ADMISSIONS” OCTOBER 25 AT SPEAKEASY, Boston

ADMISSIONS
Opens At SpeakEasy Stage Company
October 25

From October 25 to November 30, 2019, SpeakEasy Stage Company will proudly present the New England premiere of ADMISSIONS, the winner of the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.

From provocative playwright Joshua Harmon, author of Significant Other, Skintight, and Bad Jews, ADMISSIONS is a bold new comedy “of the left, by the left, for the left ̶ for today” (The New York Times). The story centers on Sherri Rosen-Mason and her headmaster husband Bill, who have worked hard for many years to expand the racial diversity of the student body at the small New England prep school where they work. But when their son’s Ivy League dreams are on the line, personal ambition and progressive values collide in this no-holds barred look at privilege, power, and the perils of hypocrisy.

Joshua Harmon’s plays have been produced across the United States at such prestigious regional theaters as Studio Theatre, The Geffen, Actor’s Express, The Magic, and Theater Wit, among others, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. e is a two-time MacDowell fellow, under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club, and an Associate Artist at Roundabout. Mr. Harmon is also a graduate of Juilliard.

SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will direct this New England premiere production of ADMISSIONS. Winner of three Elliot Norton Awards including the 2014 Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, Mr. Daigneault has directed dozens of Boston premieres, including the company’s recent productions of The View Upstairs, The Scottsboro Boys, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Allegiance, and Fun Home.

The cast is Marianna Bassham, Michael Kaye, Maureen Keiller, Nathan Malin, and Cheryl McMahon.

The design team is Eric Levenson (scenic); Charles Schoonmaker (costumes); Karen Perlow (lighting); and Dewey Dellay (sound).

Stephen MacDonald is the Production Stage Manager. Erica Marie Rabito is the Assistant Stage Manager.

ADMISSIONS will run for six weeks, from October 25 through November 30, 2019, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call BostonTheatreScene Ticketing Services at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

What Are Friends For

Significant Other”
SpeakEasy Stage
Now Through October 8th

reviewed by Bobby Franklin

Significant Other  by Joshua Harmon, who’s Bad Jews was a great hit last year, opens with Jordan Berman (Greg Maraio) celebrating the news of his friend Kiki’s (Sarah Elizabeth Bedard) engagement to be married. Kiki and Jordan are joined by two other long time friends Laura (Jordan Clark) and Vanessa (Kris Sidberry). They are sharing a scorpion bowl and Kiki is feeling no pain. Soon the conversation turns to Jordan, who is gay, and how it is time for him to find a significant other. We learn that Jordan tends to obsess over romantic interests and is now attracted to Will (Jared Troilo) from his office, who may or not be gay.

Vanessa, Jordan, and Laura (Photo: Justin Saglio)
Vanessa, Jordan, and Laura
(Photo: Justin Saglio)

As the play progresses we watch as Jordan pursues Will both in real life and in fantasy. It is very interesting to see how this is staged, having Jordan speak to his friends while also in the moment with Will. It is almost as if the action pauses so he can update his friends. The effect works very well.

As time goes on we see that Jordan has not been able to make a connection with Will or any other man. Meanwhile, Vanessa and Laura join Kiki in walking down the bridal path. This leads Jordan to feeling a bit of a loser. He also begins to feel he is losing his friends and his sadness turns to anger when he confronts Laura at her bachelorette party. it was at this point Jordan started to get under my skin. Sorry, I just cannot feel sorry for someone that selfish.

At first I felt sadness for for Jordan, but my sadness turned to anger at him for his selfishness and inability to understand that life moves on and people have changes in their lives.It does not mean friendships end, but they do change, and he just cannot accept that.

It does not mean friendships end, but they do change

Throughout the play he pays visits to his elderly grandmother Helene (Kathy St. George) and hears advice about life and aging, though nothing  really seems to resonate with him.

Vanessa, Jordan, and Kiki )Photo: Justin Seglio)
Vanessa, Jordan, and Kiki
)Photo: Justin Seglio)

As I was watching Significant Others I couldn’t help but think about Company which I had seen last week. Company had a similar theme about people moving on with their lives and dealing with how these changes effect friendships. What I found striking was, even though the characters in Company are only a few years older than those in Significant Others, they are much more mature than Jordan and his friends. Company was written in 1970, and I think by comparing the two we see how much longer it takes people to grow out of adolescence today. There were times during this play when I just wanted to shout out “Grow up, the world does not revolve around you!”

Okay, so this is not a group of people I would want to spend time with. Having said that, the production is well done, though I feel the play have been shorter. A number of points were made and did not have to be repeated.

It is very funny, and all of the players are quite good.

Greg Maraio has terrific talent

Greg Maraio has terrific talent which is why I disliked his character so much. Unless, of course, he was going for sympathy. If that was the case, I missed it. But i don’t think so. I believe Mr. Maraio captured the frustration and anger that too many young people feel when they realize life is a bumpy ride.

It’s funny, but the SpeakEasy Stage has a way of leaving me thinking about their productions for days after I have seen them. Leaving the theater I felt I really did not like this play. But, I think i could spend hours talking about it.

Significant Other
Directed by Paul Daigneault
SpeakEasy Stage Company
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont Street In The South End
speakeasystage.com
617.933.8600

SpeakEasy Stage Presents “Significant Other”

From September 9 to October 8, 2016, SpeakEasy Stage Company will proudly present SIGNIFICANT OTHER, a sharply observed new comedy about the challenges of finding love and letting go, written by Bad Jews playwright Joshua Harmon.

so-website_bannerSlated to begin previews on Broadway in February, 2017, SIGNIFICANT OTHER tells the story of Jordan Berman, a 29 year old single gay man whose life up until now has revolved around BFF’s Kiki, Laura, and Vanessa. But as singles nights suddenly turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan starts to worry about his romantic prospects, and sets out on a journey to find his own Mr. Right.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER is the latest from playwright Joshua Harmon, whose play Bad Jews was the third most-produced play in the United States during the 14-15 theatre season. A recent graduate of Julliard, Mr. Harmon has received fellowships from MacDowell, Atlantic Center for the Arts, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the Eudora Welty Foundation.  He is currently at work on commissions for Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater, and Manhattan Theatre Club.

SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will direct this New England premiere production of SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Mr. Daigneault’s recent SpeakEasy directing credits include the acclaimed productions of Violet, Mothers & Sons, Big Fish, The Color Purple, In the Heights, and Next to Normal. Mr. Daigneault is the recipient of three Elliot Norton Awards, including the 2014 Norton Award for Sustained Excellence.

Norton Award nominee Greg Maraio and Norton Award winner Kathy St. George head the cast, which also includes Sarah Elizabeth Bedard, Jordan Clark, Eddie Shields, Kris Sidberry, and Jared Troilo.

The design team is Christopher & Justin Swader (scenic); Tyler Kinney (costumes); Daniel H. Jentzen (lighting) and Lee Schuna (sound).

SIGNIFICANT OTHER will run for five weeks, from September 9 through October 8, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

Ticket prices start at $25, with discounts for students, seniors, and persons age 25 and under.
For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call the box office at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com .