Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 5, 2013

Same Time, Next Year

Berkshire Theatre Group, Stockbridge, MA
through August 10, 2013
by Shera Cohen

George and Doris might be the couple who live next door, each in their 30’s, handsome, living their mundane lives. Except, George is married and Doris is married, but not to each other. They begin their one-night stand innocently and soon each character and the audience sees love blossom.

“Same Time, Next Year” is not a new play, and many may have seen the movie version. The eras are the 50’s through the 70’s. In spite of the piece being dated, it is still delightful to glimpse back at the mores, language, and dress of three decades that many of us recall. Yet the retrospective is not a textbook lesson for the audience, but a seemingly true story of growing affection into love of two people.

Corinna May and David Adkins (Doris and George) are evenly matched as they give truth to their characters and situation. Each is a skilled actor, frequent players at Berkshire Theatre, and knows how to connect with their audiences. Through them, Doris and George stretch their outlook and response to the changing world, sometimes in completely different directions. Like an old married couple, they bicker and then make up. Their annual tryst – both funny and poignant – of nearly 25 years will continue beyond the play’s ending. Yet, surprisingly, each has his/her own happy marriage.

Director Kyle Fabel moves the actors in logical ways in and out and around a large rustic hotel room. It must be located in a ritzy section because a piano fills a good part of the upper stage level. Randall Parsons’ set is exquisite, although one might expect a picture or piece of furniture to have been replaced or moved out of place in a quarter-century. While the play is a duet, a crew of four young actors makes the most of their frequent short bits on stage as they change set pieces (primarily making and remaking the bed). With background music from the 50’s to 70’s (Harry Connick?) the team, dressed at maids, is a comic hoot.

“Same Time, Next Year” poses questions about honesty and truth, guilt and even religion. This is a play to think about, but not too deeply.