Review: Almost, Maine–
I would like to begin by noting to my audience that all thoughts and findings, perhaps even suggestions, are purely my own and are not paid for by the production, staff, cast, or the sponsor(s) of show seen and reviewed.
This has taken me too long to write but I have been busy with work and the two shows I’m working on! Also, I was debated back and forth on whether or not I would write a review on this show. Specifically, I don’t consider myself to be an professional reviewer or an official theater expert–everything on this blog is from my own personal experience with the theater. But is that enough? It’s not enough to be involved with a single community and it’s not right to narrow myself only to shows that I know. How did I expect to grow?
Well, guess what–this show was my first foray in exploring new territory! Full disclosure, I do have friends who were in the cast and on staff, but my opinions and affection for them do not impact my thoughts on a show and it’s production values. I’m too cutthroat for some of that shenanigans. So, here we go–oh, and as always, be wary of spoilers–the remainder of this post is riddled of them.
The show is a tear jerker. Maybe I’m getting more sentimental in my old age (almost 30 for the love of god), but it was honestly a beautiful plot. Several vignettes of various aged (and staged?) relationships from a small, almost town–‘almost’ as in not sizable enough to have a name and therefore named: Almost, Maine. I wish I could say that was the end of the cute factor, but it really was a continuous and genuine (not overplayed) thread throughout the couples.
And let’s talk about those couples. From homosexual, heterosexual, and not stereotypical relationships–girl returns home to marry her high school sweetheart only to lose hope when she discovers he moved on after she left for bigger things or the girl who didn’t know how to love but is found by a soft, patient man who busts into her home to save her. These were two that, and I can’t say why these two female centric stories, stuck with me, but I will say that the male centric stories were also very poignant. A man who learns how to feel pain by opening up his record books to a neighbor and the man (played by the same actor) who tells his partner to get closer by going around the world–and when she does?!
My heart melted. The vignettes were neither too long or too short (although the one was maybe overdone due its laugh factor) and encouraged audience response. It was easy to coo, aww, and reminisce on similar experiences had in your lifetime. I am not going to say that it was the easiest show to watch but I do feel that if you respond to the shows material, consider recalling those moments of why–they may be painful, at first, but you can’t get to the joy without the hurt.
This show taught me one resounding message, although I could’ve (and probably should’ve) walked away with more. I know I’ll be carrying my heart in a different way going forward. ‘Til next time.