As the Benicia Old Time Theatre Group finalizes actor selection for their spring performance, they can look back at a proud history of 50 years delighting audiences with live theater. Recovering from a rocky 2013 due to financial difficulties arising from an alleged embezzlement of its operational funds, the group is still going strong. If anything, board members have expressed an even greater commitment to excellence in community theater. Says Dyanne Vojoda, in charge of publicity and costumes, “Very nice things are happening for our 50th year. Among other things, the BOTTG was just selected as Grand Marshall for the 3rd of July Torchlight Parade.”

Happily, for those of us who appreciate having live theater in a town our size, BOTTG opens their spring play, Same Time Next Year, by Bernard Slade, without missing a beat at the Historic B.D.E.S. Hall in April. After emerging from last year’s budget challenges, it seems an apropos choice. The Tony award winning play opened on Broadway in 1975—despite both being married with children, the main characters have an affair, and in today’s lingo, “hook up” once a year for the next 24 years. The relationship gains an intimacy that goes well beyond expected given the infrequency of their encounters. The play is directed by Hester Schell, with Alan Coyne playing George and Rebecca Grayce playing Doris. "What a fantastic play, in a fantastic community,” says Schell. “I am so impressed not only with the professionalism of everyone involved, but the enthusiasm with which everyone participates. Community theatre thrives in Benicia. Same Time Next Year is a ‘chestnut' of American Theater and I am thrilled they chose me to direct in their 50th  anniversary season."

Opening night includes a champagne and appetizer reception, or take advantage of the special show and dinner discount—a meal at Lucca Bar and Grill and show ticket, $40 per person.

Same Time Next Year
4/18 – 5/10 Friday & Saturday 8pm, Sundays 2pm
General admission $20, senior/student discount $18, Opening Night Champagne Gala, $25
Tickets & other info: 707.746.1269,
B.D.E.S. Hall, 140 West J Street, Benicia