SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR at North Coast Repertory Theatre proves that romance is a funny thing, and you never know when you might have a romantic connection with someone. This romantic comedy is between George and Doris, who though both married to other people, find they can’t resist each other and learn more about each other and themselves during their clandestine once a year meetups.
Played by real-life married couple, Bruce Turk as George and Katie MacNichol as Doris, the characters have delightful chemistry. They first meet when they find themselves at the same hotel, and George sends Doris over a steak since the establishment doesn’t sell drinks. That’s a pickup gesture that’s hard to ignore. They’re both in their mid-twenties when they first meet, but the play follows them over the decades as their relationship deepens.
After a passionate first night, they have an awkward, guilt-filled morning. The guilt isn’t enough for them to stop themselves from planning to meet up at the same time, next year. After that, they meet annually and become each other’s confidants as they discuss their lives, their spouses, and what’s on their minds. Each meeting they share a good story and a bad story about their spouses, which always reveals more about them than their significant others.
It’s a curious friendship they have as they become so attuned to each other after 24 hours once a year. The comedy and romantic banter is thread through with more serious topics ranging from illness’, politics, shifting cultural attitudes, to dealing with grief. As they get older Doris becomes more confident and George grows more serious. Even as their attitudes seem to veer apart, their connection never really wavers.
MacNichol and Turk make this premise feel emotionally true, even through the ups and downs as the times change around them.
Directed by David Ellenstein, the show moves quickly along with the laughs. There is a strong core of sweet sentiment that keeps the show moving and the feeling light. The set designed by Marty Burnett creates a cozy and charming motel room fit for their trysts. Costumes by Elisa Benzoni and Wigs by Peter Herman, provide the most tangible examples of the passage of time from the 1950s through the 1970s. From crinolines and garter belts to wide lapel 70’s blazers and turtlenecks. Cinematography by Aaron Rumley, and camerawork by Christopher Williams, make the streaming show feel like you’re in the front row of the theatre.
For as cute as the show is, it does show its age with religious jokes, and gender and race references. George is definitely a man of his times, which meant that there were a few times I actually yelled at the screen because of his attitude or for something he said (maybe it’s best I saw this at home).
SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR is a very cute way to spend time with some very talented performers, and a sweet if dated story.
SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR is streaming through November 15th through North Coast Repertory Theatre. Go to www.northcoastrep.org for tickets to access the performance. The run time is 1 hour and 38 minutes.
Once you purchase your ticket to the performance you will be sent a link to watch. Once you have clicked the link you will have 48 hours of access to view it.
SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR
Written By Bernard Slade
Doris – Katie MacNichol
George – Bruce Turk
Directed By Peter Ellenstein
Scenic Designer: Marty Burnett
Costumes by Elisa Benzoni
Hair/Wigs by Peter Herman
Cinematographer/editor: Aaron Rumley
Looking for more reviews? Click here