Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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

 
Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Vacaville council eyes earlier start time

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

 
.

US / World

Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California may dam 3 Delta channels, if drought persists

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Law enforcement wants popular police-tracking app disabled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gov’t to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
2 small planes crash-land off Hawaii; all aboard survive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Report: State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict ‘sordid’ history of abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

New Jersey’s Christie launches political action committee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Man takes responsibility for drone over White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

2 sides to state highways rehab backlog

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Petty earns writing credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins in northeast Nevada

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Trainor and Styles write a duet about heartbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
SAG Awards win sends ‘Birdman’ Oscar hopes soaring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
A murder at the edge of the world takes ‘Fortitude’ to crack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Lawyers: Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother Joan’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Sports

Manfred knows he’ll get hit as commish _ his name is on ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Tim Brown hopes 6th time is charm in Hall of Fame vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on dome lease

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Gamecocks still No. 1; Chattanooga joins women’s hoops poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Scott Dixon shines in masterful final drive in Rolex win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Capitals among East contenders; West race too tight to call

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Playoff not interested in moving semis of New Year’s Eve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fireworks help celebrate Venus Williams’ Australian Open run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
US women to host New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

NBA D-League All-Star events set for Feb. 15 in Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP Source: Los Angeles Kings release Mike Richards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Employers: Agreement made on key issue in port labor dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Lyft cars doing away with pink furry mustache

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Hard Rock (again) dips toe into Atlantic City casino market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

US stock market finishes with small gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
IBM disputes report that big layoffs coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Union says California Kaiser nurses reach contract agreement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Eurozone looks for dialogue after stunning Greece elections

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4