Same Time, Next Year is a romance about a couple who carries on a once-a-year affair, sharing joys, sorrows and changing times while remaining more-or-less happily married to other people.
Behind the scenes of Olympia Little Theatres production, opening tonight, is another love story.
Director Jim Patrick (whose work for the theater includes A Few Good Men and Distracted) proposed the play because the film is the favorite of his wife, Susan Patrick, who is serving as the plays technical director.
Its very romantic, Susan Patrick said.
What I love about this movie is the changes that take place in the people, she said. It really resonates with me. There are parts of it that remind me of my parents, but it also really covers the period of time when I grew up.
The characters both change so tremendously over this time, and thats the intriguing part, she added.
Jim Patrick also loves the 1978 movie, based on the 1975 play by Bernard Slade.
Its just a wonderful relationship story, he said. Theres never any question of whether theyre going to divorce, but they still meet that one day every February. Its how their relationship builds.
The play shows the development of the couples relationship over 25 years, with scenes taking place five years apart.
We realized that for the time span from 1951-1975, you needed some kind of context, Susan Patrick said. So many changes, political and social, happened during that period.
She created videos featuring news events and hit songs from each period to mark the passage of time, and to give the actors playing Doris and George Jeff Hirschberg and Rebecca McCarthy time to get changed.
Doris has to go through some really quick changes in wardrobe and makeup and wigs, Jim Patrick said, so it doesnt allow enough time if we just have a fade to black and the lights come right back up.
The play has only two characters, so casting was especially important, Jim Patrick said. After narrowing the field of actors who came to read for the parts, Patrick had a callback to see all of the possible combinations. I sent them sides from the play, he said. At the callback, we had four women and three men, and I had every one of them play a side or two with every other one.
Chemistry had to be there, and thats very difficult for an actor to pull off, he said. It was evident when we saw them at the audition.