Audience ready for 'Same Time, Next Year'

They said they would do it and they did.The Dakota Organization brought a professional theater production to Carson Valley - and became the Valley's second theater company, along with the Carson Valley Community Theatre which returned to the Valley last year after a 17-year hiatus.

The Dakota Organization, an all-volunteer theater company, performed the Bernard Slade play "Same Time, Next Year" Friday and Saturday at the CVIC Hall in Minden to an almost sold-out crowd. The organization is offering two more performances of the play March 4 at 7 p.m. and a matinee March 5 at 2 p.m. Carla Wilson is the director.

"That was great," "cute" and "very professional" were among the comments by audience members after the Saturday night show. The actors said they felt the show went well too.

"The audience was incredible," said Teri Lynn, who plays the part of Doris.

And the audience was. There was a "connection" with the audience Saturday, with complete silence when concentration was called for and lots of laughter following funny lines like:

George: I haven't been totally honest with you. I'm a married man with three children.

Doris: Three! I thought you said two.

George: I thought it would make me seem less married.

Doris: You know that's a sign of age, don't you?

George: What?

Doris: When you start worrying about the declining morality of the young.

The story begins in 1951 and continues over 25 years. George and Doris meet while he is on an annual business trip and she is attending a yearly retreat, and they get a room together on impulse. The problem is they both are "somewhat happily" married. They continue to meet each year for one-night stands at the same time in the same country inn on the California coast, and the audience views about every fifth year.

Lynn's portrayal of Doris was delightful. She laughed and she cried, drawing the audience in, making the audience laugh and possibly even care about what is going to happen next. I got so I was looking forward to who was going to be liberal and who would be conservative (George or Doris) in each act, and the different clothing and hair styles she wore as she made the transitions from a 20-something year old to a woman in her late 40s or 50s.

Lynn, who portrayed basically an uneducated woman in the beginning of the play, sprinkled in a little less ignorance with each scene, until she appeared to be a well-spoken woman in the end.

Jody Paslov, who portrayed George, is believable as well, with his character conjuring up visions of Alan Alda, who played the part in the 1978 movie.

Since the play was originally written and performed before a 1970s audience, some of the topics were likely to have been "heard before." But the comedic writing and timing of the actors seemed to make it appeal to the audience of adults - those about 18 years old, to the Baby Boomers (who could relate), to an older crowd.

The play was just plain funny, but is definitely for adults. It deals with adult subject matter and has some profanity.

George, a CPA, was mainly a neurotic "Woody Allen" type, which eventually drove Doris crazy. Especially when she came back one year dressed as a hippy. George accuses her of dressing like an "Indian."

"I wish everyone would just stop letting it all hang out," he groans, and Doris flipped when she heard he voted for Goldwater.

The pair continue to meet each year, sharing what's evolved in the 364 days they haven't been together; most of the time feeling guilty, considering ending the relationship, but never having the strength or the desire to do so.

Producer and narrator Arthur Solomon gave the audience an update on what was happening in the world after each five-year time period passed.

He said he thought the Valley appeared ready for an upscale play like "Same Time, Next Year."

"The audience is incredible, just like last night," he said.

The Dakota Organization will present "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," by Terrence McNally in July: 7 p.m. July 14; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 15; and 2 p.m. July 16 at the CVIC Hall. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for seniors 65 and older. For tickets, call 790-1628.

n Jo Rafferty, People editor at The Record-Courier, can be reached at 782-5121, ext. 210, or


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