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Almost, Maine
a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by John Cariani

COMPANY : KKP Atlanta Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : AWP Acting Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 5395

SHOWING : November 16, 2018 - November 18, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A family-friendly show about love...But not quite.

One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways.

Knees are bruised.

Hearts are broken.

Love is lost, found, and confounded.

And life for the people of Almost, Maine will never be the same. It’s love. But not quite.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Kelley Young
Pete/Daniel Jonathan McCullum
Marvalyn/Hope Gia Nappo
East/Dave Don Stallings
Jimmy/Chad James Thomas
Gayle Kelley Young
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Nearly, Perfect
by playgoer
Saturday, November 24, 2018
4.0
The set, designed by Matt Easter, looks like an outdoor Santa’s village. Snow-flocked Christmas trees abound. A raised walkway leads through the snow to the door of a small house, a shuttered window to the side of the door. There’s a bench far stage right. Stage left we have a piano and ukulele for Alex Aldritchm’s incidental music that sets the mood and provides seamless transitions between the scenes.

The scenes are vaguely interrelated, with all action seeming to happen on a Friday night in the hamlet of Almost, Maine. Characters appearing in one scene are mentioned in another scene, so we get the feel of a small town where nearly everyone knows nearly everyone else. Scenes take place in various locations, not all of them outside, so set pieces are moved on as needed to suggest a specific location. Kelley Young’s direction has it all flowing smoothly, and Sophie Adesanya’s lighting aids in the suggestion of locales.

Nearly all the cast play multiple roles. The only exception is the director herself, who plays a single role in one of the less-compelling segments. The play starts out promisingly, with a quiet scene between two would-be lovers (Rachel Lamb and Jonathan McCullum) that continues on and off to the end of the show. This is followed by a very strong scene between a hiker (Amber Miller) and a resident (Don Stallings), where their conversations spill over one another like tiny avalanches of words. Next comes an effective restaurant scene with a guy (James Thomas) encountering his former girlfriend (Blis Savige), the emotions ebbing and flowing and sparked by the spiky performance of Ms. Lamb as a waitress. A fairly silly scene follows, with a woman (Gia Nappo) encountering a neurologically challenged young man (Devin Ellery) in a laundry room. The first act ends with Gayle (played by Ms. Young) challenging Lendal (Joey Simon) to return the love she’s given him. Like all the other scenes, it contains a bit of magical reality where the unexpected occurs in quirky, smile-inducing ways.

The second act is more of the same. We first see Chad (James Thomas) and Randy (Devin Ellery) literally falling in love, with terrific physical comedy from the two men. Next we see Phil (Joey Simon) and his wife Marci (Blis Savige) skirting around an argument, waiting for the other shoe to drop. What follows is the most poignant of the scenes, with the aptly-named Hope (Gia Nappo) hoping to reconnect with a former flame (Jonathan McCullum). Mr. Stallings and Ms. Miller then share another rapidly paced scene of two snowmobile buddies and a budding romance.

John Cariani’s unique sense of off-kilter humor hinges on the metaphorical becoming the literal, which happens time and again in "Almost, Maine." Director Kelley Young has honed the actor pairings to get the most out of each scene, with Ms. Miller and Mr. Stallings most impressive in their interplay. But everyone is good or better, and the show flows smoothly, capturing a mood and prolonging it to the tidy finish of the play. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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