Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Same Time, Next Year’ packed with love, friendship, and surprisingly, values

By
From page B6 | April 25, 2014 |

I have gushed in past reviews over the quaint historic BDES Hall where the Benicia Old Town Theatre Group has been suspending the disbelief of Solano County residents for 50 years now in over 100 productions.

I love the painted signs showing the current show out front, the slightly musty, yet not unpleasant smell, when you walk up the carpeted stairs and the feeling of walking into the past a bit when you enter the theater itself.

Of course, all that doesn’t matter if what is presented doesn’t move you in some way. Thankfully, their current production, “Same Time, Next Year,” connects on many levels. It elicited belly laughs and then moved north to the heart with poignant moments as well.

“Same Time, Next Year”  was written by Bernard Slade and is about a man and woman who are married to other people who have an extramarital affair that they then make into an annual event for over two decades.

It opened on March 14, 1975 and starred Ellen Burstyn as Doris and Charles Grodin as George. Burstyn won both the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. She also recreated the role in the 1978 film version alongside Alan Alda as George.

Since the show features just two actors tasked with carrying the entire production, they have to bring the goods, which they did in a way that seemed effortless in Benicia. The fact that it appeared effortless usually  means that considerable effort was involved in creating that illusion and some of the credit for that has to go to director Hester Schell.

Benicia Old Town Theatre Group’s production starred Alan Coyne as George and Rebecca Grayce as Doris. Within moments of the stage lights being raised it was obvious that both of them were talented actors in their own right, but more importantly had the kind of warm chemistry that the show demands.

I was most impressed by their timing, delivery and how they hammered the punchlines. There were a few times that their lines seemed a bit rushed, but, to me, the barometer of the effectiveness of  a play that is primarily comic is the audience’s reaction. That instant payoff from theatergoers erupting into uncontrollable laughter after a setup and punchline can’t be faked. We ate it up.

The changes that the characters and the larger society went through over the years were reflected in clothing styles (costume designer Dyanne Vojoda) and subtle changes in the set that mirrored technological advances.

Coyne was at turns neurotic, frantic, then self-assured and Grayce took her character through a metamorphosis in the show from housewife to activist to businesswoman.

The hotel set (designer Brian Hough) was well done with great attention to detail. A nice touch was having crew members adding and/or removing props in-between scenes dressed as hotel staff. The music chosen to move the years along was apropos and set the stage nicely.

It is rather  ironic that a play about the power of love, the meaning of friendship and yes, the value of family life, is centered around two people committing adultery year after year. The power of the piece is in its script and how it weaves humor and heart together to reveal truths about relationships through the vehicle of a very unusual one.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com

 

“Same Time, Next Year”

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, May 9-10

2 p.m. Sunday and May 4

BDES Hall, 140 W. J St., Benicia

746-1269

www.beniciaoldtowntheatregroup.com

3 and a half stars out of 4

 

 

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Annoying minor floods are increasing on US coasts

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page:

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5