Theatre Mirror Reviews "Almost, Maine"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"Almost, Maine"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at Attleboro Community Theatre is John Cariani's "Almost, Maine". Nine vignettes exploring love as well as the joy and the perils of romance. Cariani employs elements of magical realism as he explores the mysteries of the human heart. On a Friday night in the middle of winter, residents of a small, mythical town in far northern Maine are falling in and out of love at an alarming rate. Knees are getting bruised; hearts are getting broken, but the bruises heal and hearts almost mend in what can be described as a charming midwinter night's dream. Director Barbara Crowell assembles a topnotch cast of nine to carry out these funny roles earning them a thunderous ovation at the end of the night.

Barbara and her assistant director, Beverly Darling, think up many clever comic bits and lots of physical comedy for the cast to perform. They use a card girl, Sophia Smith to bring the title of each scene on stage while she performs a comic dance during each of them which won her many laughs. Barbara gives each member of her cast to shine in their scenes and a lot of slapstick including spit-takes, smacking the head with an ironing board and pratfalls. The titles of the vignettes are, "Her Heart", "This Hurts", "Sad and Glad', "Getting It Back", "Where It Went", "They Fell", "Story of Hope" And "Seeing the Thing". The Northern lights are supplied by Scott England while the unit set was designed by Kevin Boisse. The hard working stage manager, Chrissa Bennett and her stage crew move the set pieces on and off stage for each scene.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot of each scene to ruin it for the audience. Her talented comic cast includes Kim Alessandro, Alex Aponte, Jason Arundale, Katherine Coolidge, Ben Cornish, Jim Harvey, Kimberly Olson-Hraba, Holly Martin and Brett Palmer. There are some very funny one liners in the show including my parents moved south to Vermont. Some of the crazy shenanigans include the talkative, slightly crazy hiker who camps out in a stranger's backyard with a broken heart, sledding pals who do a striptease that has to be seen to be believed, are the patient sweetheart and the tomboy who fights him, a ditzy blonde who finally commits to her childhood love and gets a surprise is the emotion packed scene, a girl who hits a man who feels no pain with an ironing board finally teaches him to feel for the first time in his life, a bumbling workman running into his ex-girlfriend and the tattoo on his arm leads him to another girl, a weary married man and his wife go skating and wait for the other shoe to drop, a seemingly clueless boyfriend and his girlfriend who realize the love they have for each other, two guy buddies who discover they're falling all over the place in love after their girlfriends dump them and the girl who walks around the world so she can be with the man she loves. So for a fun filled night of a new comedy, be sure to catch "Almost, Maine" at Attleboro Community Theatre.

"Almost, Maine" (10 - 24 February)
ATTLEBORO COMMUNITY THEATER
@ Ezekiel Bates Masonic Lodge, 71 North Main Street, ATTLEBORO MA
1(508) 226-8100

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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