Almost every show in Oklahoma City Theatre Companys season is an American play written between 1957 and 1982. Why the company has selected plays from such a limited place and period is a mystery, but its current offering is Bernard Slades 1975 romantic comedy, Same Time, Next Year, directed by Cristela Carrizales.
In this Neil Simon-esque script, George (Ian Clarke) and Doris (Jodi Nestander) have a chance encounter in a restaurant and spend the night together at a California country inn.
Thus, they begin a two-decade-plus affair where they rendezvous annually in the same room. George is a CPA, while Doris is a Catholic housewife. Both are married with children, and suffer perfectly respectable amounts of guilt, but passion conquers all, and the yearly tryst lives on. Their unseen, but much-discussed spouses are practically characters.
We see George and Doris experience the vicissitudes of life births, deaths, changes in fashions and attitudes from the 1950s to the 1970s, like a stone skipping across a pond. Although the play looks like ancient history today, it accurately reflects changes that many people went through during the time.
right Jodie Nestander and Ian Clarke star in Same Time, Next Year.
The actors initially seem uncomfortable in their roles. Nestander, who was outstanding in last years Rabbit Hole
at Pollard Theatre, does a solid job. Clarke grows more convincing as
George ages, and ultimately gives a satisfying performance.
Nelsons costumes and James Polk Wilsons set design are serviceable,
but OKCTC is not a theater company that will stage a period piece like
this with highly realized authenticity. Megan Clarkes excessively hot
lighting flatters neither the actors nor the production.
a lot can be said about Same Time today. Why OKCTCs deciders thought
this particular relic of 20thcentury theater was worth reviving isnt
clear from viewing this production.
script hits the high points of 1960s social change and he ties up the
story in a way that will satisfy theatergoers who like unambiguous
Someone sitting near me called the play a soap opera, and thats about as good a description as any.
marks the passage of time during the interminable scene changes with
sound bites from news reports and other contemporaneous sources, but
doesnt provide any new insight into the play or its issues.
Actually its hard to see how a director could freshen a script so rooted in its time period.