Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Same Time Next Year
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre opens its Fifth Anniversary season with Bernard Slade's heartwarming play, Same Time Next Year.
Same Time Next Year opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on March 14, 1975 starring Charles Grodin and Ellen Burstyn. It later went on to the Ambassador Theatre, closing on September 3, 1978 after a total of 1,453 performances. It was a critical and artistic success, winning a Tony Award for Best Actress for Ellen Burstyn, and played to sold-out audiences for nearly three years, becoming one of Broadway's longest running plays.
Playwright Bernard Slade created the TV series "Love On A Rooftop," "The Flying Nun," "The Partridge Family," and "Bridget Loves Bernie." He received the Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Play for Same Time Next year and later an Oscar nomination for his film adaptation of the play. He also wrote the plays Tribute and Romantic Comedy.
Same Time Next Year is the story of two star-crossed lovers named George and Doris. Their affair begins one fateful day in 1951 after a chance meeting at the guest cottage of a country inn in northern California. George has come to the inn to attend to a local business account, and Doris has come for her yearly religious retreat. Both are seemingly happily married to other people, but find such a connection to one another that they resolve to meet again on that same date the next year. They continue their yearly rendezvous for some 25 years. For one weekend every February, they share stories of their lives apart from one another and enjoy moments of stolen passion and love.
We are given six glimpses of their relationship as the years pass. Each glimpse is ripe with the changes in their life and the world around them. Surprisingly, their relationship changes little over time as it retains the tender warmth of a young love. The writing manages to gently avoid the complicated issues of marital infidelity, focusing instead on merely the relationship at hand. The audience cannot help but feel kindly interest toward Doris and George, and their most unusual relationship.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre's production of Same Time Next Year is lighthearted and smooth. The set design is pleasant, though greater changes from scene to scene as the years pass would be preferable. One cannot truly believe that curtains, upholstery and pictures in a guest house rental would remain unchanged for 25 years. Costume design by Gail Baldoni and wig design by Gerard James Kelly do much to enhance the production by demonstrating the changing styles.
Paul DeBoy and Henny Russell have a comfortable familiarity on stage that works well for our couple, George and Doris. Ms. Russell seems better at adapting to the age changes and character development of Doris, than Mr. DeBoy does for George. She also finds a bit more of the humor in the script, and in a play that is easily dated, keeping it fresh by finding the humor is essential. Both actors deftly manage the transforming costume and hair changes provided them. This is a sweet but simple tale, a stage version of the sort of light reading one does before bed.
Same Time, Next year will be appearing at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through November, 18, 2007. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a 550-seat, nonprofit, community-based Equity regional theatre belonging to the League of Resident Theatres. This theatre employees both local and non-local Equity and non-union cast and crew members. The theatre is located at 1001 Indiantown Rd. (just off of A1A) in Jupiter, FL. Show times are Tuesday - Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.. For tickets to this show, and complete information on the theatre's offerings, you may contact them by phone at 561/ 575-3332 or 800/ 445-1666, and on line at www.jupitertheatre.org.
*Designates a member of Actor's Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage managers in the United States.
**Designates a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.