Kevin Meyer, Tempo Editor
The feel-good and at times heartbreaking series of love tales, “Almost, Maine,” dropped by for performances in the Philip Lynch Theatre, Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 23-26.
The show, directed by associate professor Kevin Trudeau, featured the residents of a town ‘almost’ in Maine. There were eight different pairs of people who each had about 10-20 minutes to tell their story of love or un-love. The play incorporated reallife examples of things that can happen when someone’s in love, using several interesting metaphors.
Some of these metaphors included one actor who literally had their heart broken and another who wanted to physically give all their love back to their partner, in the form of what looked like Christmas present bags. The metaphors added a fantasy aspect to the real-life scenarios.
Credit must be given to the eight actors who represented 19 different roles in the play. Some actors had as many as three different parts, which must make it hard to really sell each unique role. They were stellar in their roles, especially when one of their characters went from happy and in love, to sadness and dismay. All the characters had their own personality and it showed through the actors performances.
With Valentine’s Day recently passing, this play was perfect for the resounding “love” atmosphere it presented. There were several of those “aww” moments as well as a few “gasps” when something particularly shocking happened.
That leads me to my next point; a lot of times with romantic movies, plays, etc., the ending of each story is pretty obvious. With “Almost, Maine,” there were a few times where I was actually surprised and caught off guard. This was a positive thing to incorporate; many people think they’ve seen it all when it comes to love, but this play put that theory to rest pretty quickly.
To sum up the play, “Almost, Maine” was a hilariously smart romantic comedy, perfect for anyone who’s looking for love or has already found it.
One of the more memorable scenes of the ensemble was when two characters, portrayed by Carli Wheeler and Mike Sansone, decided to participate in some “extra-curricular activities.” The hilarity ensued when the two were having a problematic time undressing down to their undergarments. The audience could not handle the exchange and went into a frenzy of laughter; it was personally my favorite scene of the whole performance.
The play also included a couple breaking up due to their lack of appreciation for each other, a marriage proposal that took a long time to be answered and a same-sex pair who “fell” in love with each other.
“Almost, Maine” was one of my favorite plays that I’ve recently seen at the PLT. Its combination of rambunctious storylines and vision of love was just the right formula. It proved to me — and hopefully the rest of the audience — that love comes in many different forms, and when it does appear, you just know it.
Photo provided by Jo Slowik.