From the writer of the West End smash hit comedy Bad Jews, which enjoyed sold out runs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, comes a Fugard Theatre production of Joshua Harmon’s Broadway success Significant Other, with Gabriel Meltz in the lead role. The New York Times hailed Significant Other as one of its Top Ten Productions of 2015.
Meltz moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to pursue his dream of becoming an actor and in 2015 he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the California Institute of Arts. During his time in college, Gabriel played numerous roles including Mitch in A Street Car Named Desire, co-directed by the reverent James Franco and Deborah La Vine.
In 2014, he performed at the Hollywood and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, with an original play called Iami. He also apprenticed with the New York based theatre company OYL where he went on to play Euelpides in their production of The Birds. After graduating college, he played several roles at the Santa Monica Miles Memorial Playhouse including Hamlet.
Gabriel Meltz arrived in Cape Town with his recently formed theatre company (Black Hole Collective) and, in true art school fashion, produced and performed a compelling, gender-reversed, adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull. He has loved being home, and was last seen on stage in Nicholas Ellenbogen’s play Murdering Agatha Christie, playing both Ben and Bill.
Gabriel is beyond-words-excited to be playing Jordan in Significant Other.
The CJC caught up with him in May.
Tell us a bit about Jordan
Jordan is in his late twenties, living in New York, having a lot of trouble in the love department. His best friends Kiki, Vanessa and Laura are all settling down and he is still struggling to find his significant other. He has a very lovable personality and a great sense of humor, but is definitely not very good and playing it cool when it comes to men!
Any traits you have in common?
We’re both gay, Jewish, single — but luckily — have a sense of humor about it. So yeah, I’d say we definitely get each other!
Have you found anything interesting or surprising in preparation for this role?
The play is really well written and there are so many surprises I’m finding as I go through it. I don’t want to give anything away, but the truth it speaks has resonated with me the most. I find myself going home and thinking about love and the pain, anguish and beauty that goes with it for hours.
You have an impressive and exciting resume, have your previous experiences lent anything in particular to this play?
I think more than anything this play is a snapshot into the lives of a lot of the youth in the States and in Cape Town right now. So probably being in my twenties in LA and that life experience has lent me the most for this role. I keep saying to people I speak Jordan’s language, I find his humor hilarious and his heart-break heart-breaking.
I hope this character resonates with the audience as much as he has with me.