The play ended the same way it began – two best friends maneuvering onstage, dancing in a way that can only be described as goofy, childlike innocence.
But Kenan Theatre Company’s “Just Like Now,” which opens Friday, packs a surprising punch that brings young, queer representation onstage in a contemporary story for contemporary audiences.
In “Just Like Now,” best friends Brody and Lissa seem to be the average college best friends. Their bedrooms are riddled with Skittles and gummy worms, and their cellphone ringtones – Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and the Kim Possible theme song – provide immediate context. Brody seems to be addicted to Grindr as a substitute for human connection, while Lissa has her own romantic interest, Beth, frequently spending the night.
When Brody finally finds Thomas on Grindr, it is the beginning of a whirlwind relationship. Thomas works for Cosmopolitan, and Brody notes that he seems mysterious. Regardless, they begin spending nearly every day together.
The narrative continues as the audience witnesses Brody falling in love, Thomas revealing who he really is, Lissa desperately grasping for something that is not there and Beth’s mysterious actions through a series of scenes that melt into each other fluidly.