This unusual love story blends laughter, tears and nostalgic songs to weave a charming valentine to romantic plays of the past. Austin “Buddy” Bedford, a lounge pianist/singer who has seen better days, is haunted by a short, passionate affair he enjoyed with an English woman 25 years ago. At CTC thru May 10.
When a young beauty comes into the lounge one rainy evening, he is stunned by her resemblance to his lost love. The affair that ensues is brought to a screeching halt when Austin discovers who she really is. Romantic songs counterpoint the action, which reveals the mix of fantasy and reality that forms our lives.
Director Brad Thompson explains why I Remember You is so compelling: “The relationships that we find in this particular story fall into two categories: those with whom we choose to have a relationship and those with whom we do not have a choice. We get to pick our friends and partners – wouldn’t it be interesting if we got to choose our family? What happens when the family connection is tested by forces that may not be in our control? Serendipity?”
CTC’s cast is
Born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Slade began his career as an actor with the Garden Center Theatre in Vineland, Ontario. In the mid-1960s, he relocated to Hollywood and began to work as a writer for television sitcoms, including Bewitched. When ABC gave him the opportunity to create a series, he devised Love on a Rooftop, similar in theme to Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, about a young couple living in a windowless walk up apartment with access to a rooftop with a view of San Francisco.
The following year, Slade developed The Flying Nun (adapted from Tere Ríos’s book, The Fifteenth Pelican), which stars Sally Field as a young novice whose habit’s headgear enabled her to fly. He also created The Partridge Family, based on the real-life Cowsills and Bridget Loves Bernie, inspired by the play Abie’s Irish Rose.
Despite his success in television, Slade returned to the theatre in 1975 with his play Same Time, Next Year about a couple who are married to others but meet once a year for sex and conversation. With Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in the leads, the play was a major hit and ran for 1,453 performances. Slade received the Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination for Best Play. In 1978 he followed with Tribute, a story of a man who learns to love his father, a successful actor who always had more time for his theatrical cohorts than his son.
Even with Jack Lemmon heading the cast, it proved to be far less successful than its predecessor, closing after 212 performances. Slightly more successful was Romantic Comedy (1979), starring Anthony Perkins and Mia Farrow. Slade wrote the screenplays for the film versions of all three plays and was Oscar-nominated for his adaptation of Same Time, Next Year. I Remember You was published in 1994.
Thru May 10