This Holiday Season, TheatreWorks New Milford will debut ALMOST, MAINE by John Cariani, a warm romantic comedy set under the frigid northern lights. The play opens December 3 at 8:00 p.m. for a five-week run.
ALMOST, MAINE is the name of the mythical town in which this delightful romantic comedy takes place, creatively delving into the vast mysteries of the human heart with laughter, heartbreak, and hope. On a cold, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above Almost. Residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. But The Bruises heal and the hearts mend - almost - in this enchanting midwinter night's dream.
"The play is extremely unique in its structure and its storytelling," said co-director Glenn R. Couture of Ansonia. "The story is actually nine vignettes about 19 characters set at 9pm on a cold Friday night when the northern lights show themselves above this fictional town in northern Maine. Each tale involves a couple falling in and out of love in funny, surreal, and otherworldly ways. I'd have to call it magical."
"It's quite a challenge to convey nine stories with eight actors playing 19 characters - it's written for as few as four - but fortunately, we've got the talent up on stage for all to see," said co-director Robin Frome of Torrington. "ALMOST, MAINE is a play about discovering the magic and mysteries of love in a very sweet and familiar manner, but with a touch of mysticism...it makes for an extremely family-friendly experience for the Holidays."
The production features some of the region's finest actors: Robyn Maitland (New Fairfield), David Martin (Washington), Kelly McMurray (Brewster, NY), Michael Wright (Newtown), Stacy-Lee Erickson (New Milford), Adrienne Marra Brown (Collinsville), and Mike Ritts and Christopher Smith (both Torrington).
Besides Frome and Couture, the latter of whom also designed the set, the crew includes producer, Richard Pettibone; lighting designer, Scott Wyshynski; sound designer, Tom Libonate; and stage management by Frome and Couture.
ALMOST, MAINE made its world premiere at The Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine on October 29, 2004 and made its New York debut at the Daryl Roth Theatre on January 12, 2006. The New York Times called the play "...a whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance. Magical happenings bloom beneath the snowdrifts."
ALMOST, MAINE runs December 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 30, 31 and January 7, 8. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on December 12 and 19. Tickets for all shows are $20 for reserved seating. On New Year's Eve, December 31, at 8:00 p.m. there will be one gala fundraising performance with hors d'oeuvres and an open bar of wine, beer, and soft drinks. Tickets for this event are $60.
On Thursday, December 2, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks' Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.
On Thursday, December 16, there is a "Holiday Party Night," in which groups and organizations of any size are welcome to enjoy a performance as well as hot & cold hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and beverages both pre-show and at intermission. Tickets for this event are $40 each.
Reservations can be made online at www.theatreworks.us or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.
TheatreWorks is an award-winning, regional theatre company located on 5 Brookside Avenue, just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford, Conn.
Photo credit: Richard Pettibone