Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey’s play about Alcoholics Anonymous’ founders is staged as an A.A. meeting. It begins with a man introducing himself: “My name is Bill W., and I’m an alcoholic.” Another guy responds, “Dr. Bob, alcoholic. Good to be here sober.” It’s a long road from the play’s beginnings to its 2007 Off-Broadway debut. The authors — Bergman is a psychiatrist; Surrey, his wife, is a clinical psychologist — started work on it more than 20 years ago and based it on their professional experiences of steering alcoholic patients to meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous’ founders — stockbroker Bill Wilson and surgeon Bob Smith — met in Smith’s hometown of Akron and kept each other sober through their relationship. Early productions of Bill W. and Dr. Bob were even funded by agencies that help people with drinking problems. Seth Gordon directs a new production of the play that opens at 8 tonight. Performances run through May 2 at the Cleveland Play House’s Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Ave., 216.791.5000). Tickets: $45-$51. — Michael Gill
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.