Final Bow: Lindsay Mendez Parts With Significant Other — and That's the Way It Is
Mendez reflects on the Broadway play that made her a star — literally.
Lindsay Mendez has been with the production (directed by Trip Cullman) since its 2015 off-Broadway mounting with the Roundabout Theatre Company. She plays Laura — a dating-disillusioned teacher and best friend to the lovelorn Jordan Berman (Gideon Glick), who finds it particularly challenging to wade the romantic waters as a young, gay man. It's far from Mendez's first time on a Broadway stage, with Grease, Everyday Rapture, Godspell, and a stint as a Wicked Elphaba on her résumé. It is, however, her first Broadway play — though one that fortunately features a cast of musical-theater folks ready and willing to partake in singalongs and profess their undying love for Celine Dion.
1. What is your favorite line that you get to say?
"Last week, I went out with this guy who told me that while he wasn't personally into cannibalism, he could understand the appeal. And I still made out with him." It was an extra line that Josh threw in one day and it made my life.
2. Everyone loves inside jokes. What is the best one from your show?
We all call each other BB — like "baby" but BB for short. Before every show we do a BB countdown — the six of us. Josh is also a BB and so is Trip. And Barbara Barrie is OGBB. It's not funny to anyone else except us.
3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show and how was it handled?
Last night, the box office broke so we had to start the show 30 minutes late. And it was handled with an announcement and a prayer that the audience would still be with us by the time we got out there. We kept asking Gideon what they would do at Spider-Man.
4. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
I have a group of fans who pitched in and named a star after me...so. Cool.
5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say your family!)
I'd have to say Sarah Silverman. What a great lady. We're all obsessed with her, and she was just so kind and wonderful.
6. Which of the play's characters are you most similar to in real life?
Oh definitely Laura — luckily. I think it's no coincidence I'm playing this role on Broadway. I am very much this person in my own life. My friends are the loves of my life too, and I have many a gay bestie.
7. Have you and Gideon imagined how Laura and Jordan first met?
We've never talked about that. We know we went to college together so maybe he and I were in the same class and got to be friends. We've never established that officially.
8. Gideon's character sends a very tragic email in the middle of the play. In real life, are you the one that hits send or the one that keeps friends from hitting send?
I think I'm the person who keeps friends from hitting send. I've definitely helped people go through emails before sending them. I'm a good proofreader. In fact, I've proofread for Gideon many times!
9. Most of the characters in Significant Other are making the awkward transition from childhood to adulthood. What was the moment you first realized you were an adult?
I'd say when I moved to New York. I remember I took the train the in the wrong direction and ended up somewhere deep in Brooklyn. I didn't know where I was and I don't think my cellphone was working and I just had to find my way. There was so much fear but I was also like, "I can do this. I'm an adult. I'll make it home somehow." And I did. And called my mom afterward being like, "You'll never guess what happened to me!" That was a big moment for me. I know that sounds lame but I was 18 years old and from California, so it was definitely a big change.
10. As you know, there is a particular Celine Dion song that factors heavily into the play. What's your personal Celine favorite?
Her version of "River Deep Mountain High," which is kind of incredible. I guess I have to tie with that one "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," which is so dramatic but amazing. In case you were curious, we do really have many a Celine Dion sing-along. We are obsessed with her. Rebecca Jones and I are always onstage during the end of the play and are always like, "Man, her voice is kind of unmatched." It is so specific and expressive. There's a reason why she's so timeless.
So you're saying people will walk away from Significant Other with a fresh appreciation for Celine Dion.
I do think that's one of the things you come away with. I've had many people be like, "I've had to listen to Celine Dion since I've left the play." If we can send you home with that, we feel happy.