Tonight I treated myself to a play by the Lakeside Civic Players. The group is young and small, and I didn't know this play at all. But I took a chance and the result was not disappointing.
The play is Almost, Maine, by John Cariani. It's sort of a cross between Escanaba in Da Moonlight and Lake Woebegone. It has no single plot, but consists of eleven scenes (nine are listed in the program, and two are surprises) that are each short vignettes about love. I thought it was both insightful and funny. A lot of the comedy is based on double meanings and deadpan interpretation of idioms, which generally cracks me up, particularly when someone "puts one over on me." I didn't see several of the jokes coming, so that really made me laugh.
It is quite a new play, written in 2006, and didn't do well in New York, but has been produced a lot around the country since then and is generally popular.
Just a few shots. The first one is from a scene in the laundry room of Ma Dudley's boarding house, entitled "This Hurts."
Next we have Man and Woman in "The Story of Hope."
This is Rhonda and Dave in "Seeing the Thing," which scene is particularly funny. It was a nice counterpoint to the ending.
And a nice satisfactory closing to a play about love. But, how we got here might not be as straightforward as it seems. Notice the Northern Lights playing in the "sky."
The production was well done. Sometimes, in the dialogue, it was hard to hear the exact words, but I could always figure out the gist of what was being said.
The set was simple and left a lot to the imagination, which is not to say that it was poorly done. Actually, I like plays staged this way.
I have some issues with the modern definitions of "love," which generally have nothing to do with commitment. Even so, for the most part, this was a meaningful play. If you ever have a chance to see Almost, Maine, I'd say "do it."
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