Published July 21st, 2010
Starlight Opens Time and Time Again
By Andrea A. Firth
Members of the cast of Time and Time Again rehearsing at the outdoor theater adjacent to the Orinda Community Center. In back (L to R) Patricia Inabnet, Malcolm Cowler, and Ken Sollazo (seated); standing in center Claire Stevenson and Mark Holobetz; seated in front assistant Director Charles Guitrone; and with back turned, Starlight's Artistic Director and the play's director Geotty Chapple. Photo A. Firth
Who can resist a romantic comedy set under the stars with English accents? Orinda Starlight Village Players serve that up with lots of laughs in Alan Ayckbourn's play Time and Time Again, which opened last Friday and plays through the first week of August. "Oh yes, it's funny. It's an interpersonal comedy," says Director Geotty Chapple, a founding member of the 29 year-old playgroup and its current Artistic Director. "The situations are set up in a wonderful comedic formula. It deals with a variety of relationships, and although they don't all work out well, nobody gets hurt," he says.
Ayckbourn's play adds a twist to the archetypal love triangle by replacing it with a perpetual love quadrangle. Joan, the prize catch played by Claire Stevenson, receives the romantic attention of three men-one she wants, one she used to want, and one she doesn't want at all. Add to the plot a lecherous man, scheming women, and a guy who opts out, and the relationship balance is set into a tailspin. It's bound to be funny.
Stevenson, who first acted with the Starlight Players at age four, is joined by playgroup veterans Mark Holobetz (Leonard), Ken Sollazo (Peter), Malcolm Cowler (Graham), and Patricia Inabnet (Anna). "This community has been charmed to have a small theater and people willing to put in three hours rehearsing in the evenings after a full day at the office, because they love it," says Chapple, smiling as he watches the cast move through scenes in the dress rehearsal prior to opening night. "This area has a wonderful pool of actors. We've been spoiled," he adds, clearly enjoying what he sees.
"With this play, Ayckbourn writes like a later Neil Simon," says Chapple. "It's a nice romantic comedy. It's the right tone for a summer's night out." Another great appeal of the play, as with all of the Starlight Village Player productions, notes Chapple, is the fact that it is live theater, in Orinda, outside under the stars.
Time and Time Again runs through August 7th starting on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., Sunday August 1st at 4 p.m., and Thursday August 5th at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 925.253.1191 or 925.255.3295 (after 7 p.m.) or email for reservations, Admission is $16 and $8 for seniors. Cushions are provided for the amphitheater benches or bring your own low lawn seat. Picnics are welcome.

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA