By Andrea Bellew
“Almost, Maine” played on a great trifecta – laughter, sadness and hope—all at the same time. Not only was the play amazing, but the stage setting was superb too; it was well-crafted and worked with the limited space and scene changes well. The lighting accentuated the painted snow and mountains in the background very well and the continuity of scenes ending on light displays that looked like the aurora borealis was a nice touch.
The play was set up like a movie that has tons of actors in which each character’s story is shown and they are all somehow connected – like the movie “Valentine’s Day.” Each scene brought out different couples of all sorts on a chilly winter night, all of whom were from the fictional unorganized territory of Almost, Maine. It was all very interesting, but it lacked the resolution I was craving. With so many couples I only got to see snippets when I really wanted to see how some of the couples turned out.
The couples went through many of the cliché stories of love, romance and attraction, but with an Almost flair that was both real and hilariously unreal. They were all fairly predictable, but I, and the audience, judging by the laughter that rang in every scene, found them highly amusing just because they were playing on the predictability of those situations. I would not describe any of the scenes as boring, and, despite the predictability, there were still touching moments to behold, such as when Hope (Sophmore Ariel Wren) stared at Daniel’s (Sophmore Braden Bocard) closed door to finally say yes to marrying him even though he was taken.
Some of the funniest moments stemmed from the most unbelievable parts. Glory (Freshman Jennie Richardson) and East (Sophmore Jacob Townson) fretted over Glory’s literally broken heart; she carried it in a bag and had to get an artificial one to take its place. Randy (Sophmore Alex Caudill) and Chad (Ethan Smith) were actually falling on the ground as they fell in love with each other. Lendall (Freshman Cory Parr) and Gayle (Sophomore Taylor Dillon) were gathering up all the love they had given each other so they could give it back.
Altogether it was a funny, sometimes heart wrenching, but mostly light-hearted play about all of the things that can go right or wrong with love. It was a nice escape from the real world. “Jeezum crow” it was good, as someone from Almost would say!