BWW Review: ALMOST MAINE at Castle Craig Players
On Saturday, November 9, I had the pleasure of seeing ALMOST MAINE as put on by the Castle Craig Players at the Almira F. Stephan Memorial Playhouse in Meriden, CT. This comedy by John Cariani is the kind that I truly enjoy, a well written script with phenomenal performances all around. It is refreshing to see a relatively modern (2004) show that is genuinely humorous, original, mostly family-friendly (with a few exceptions), and not political. Having not been previously familiar with this show or this playwright, I am extremely impressed.
The set features a back curtain with lights on it, representing stars. A house is on stage right. The entire stage is used effectively.
Under the brilliant direction of Oliver Kochol, the ensemble cast featuring Emily Gerrish, Jim Kane, Katie Kirtland, Jamie Reopell, Kathy Wade, and Corey Weldon keeps the audience highly entertained all throughout the show, each playing multiple different roles, including serious ones, and playing them all well. The stage chemistry is tight with the lines delivered with perfect comedic tone and timing to maximize the humor, and the drama during those moments. All six cast members appear to be having a great time portraying their various roles. The show features multiple small stories, all set in the fictional town of Almost, Maine, a town from which the Northern Lights are visible. The stories include a married couple struggling to effectively communicate, as well as new couples or potential couples in their early stages, and stories about people returning to the town and seeing old flames, the returning people hoping to rekindle what was once there. Will those who remained in the town reciprocate those feelings? Why or why not? Come to the show to find out.
Some fascinating concepts are explored, like someone who had heart replacement surgery and now carries her old heart in a bag, and a man with a medical condition that supposedly prevents him from feeling any pain.
I highly recommend ALMOST MAINE, which is scheduled to continue to run by the Castle Craig Players at the Almira F. Stephan Memorial Playhouse in Meriden, CT, through November 23, 2019. For times and tickets, please go to http://www.castlecraig.org/.