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Same Time, Next Year

Comedy/drama in two acts by Bernard Slade, premiered at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York (US), March 13, 1975, produced by Morton Gottlieb, directed by Gene Saks, featuring Charles Grodin and Ellen Burstyn (who subsequently starred with Alan Alda in the movie version of the play).

Yes, the writer is Canadian by birth alone, and no, the setting and characters are not Canadian at all, but if only for the dozens of times this two-hander has been presented in cash-strapped Canadian mainstream, summer and amateur houses, in French and English, the work is archetypically Canadian.

The story tells of two married people who meet by chance, have a fling and then turn it into an annual affair that lasts for decades; through changing America, including the Vietnam war (and the death of his son, and the hippiness of her protests) and through the ups and downs of each other's marriages.

Not a work of genius, but certainly a well-crafted and often funny play. Bernard Slade also wrote a sequel to the work, Same Time, Another Year and there is a musical version of the play which has been produced under the title Every Time I See You.

The reviews for the original production were enthusiastic with Martin Gottfried, of The New York Post calling the play, "...genuinely funny and genuinely romantic." Clive Barnes, then of The New York Times, wrote, "It is the funniest comedy about love and adultery to come Broadway's way in years."

The play is the most produced two-character play in history and has played in houses around the globe.

Commentary by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2011-01-11