WEEKEND: High-schoolers chronicle coming, going of emotion in ‘Almost, Maine’
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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It’s a cold, moonless night in the middle of winter. All is not quite what it seems in this place where we have just touched down: the town of “Almost, Maine.”
The aurora borealis hovers like a bright curtain in the dark sky, while strange and wonderful things happen below.
Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken.
But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend — almost — in this midwinter night’s dream.
The “Almost, Maine” story is coming to life on the stage of the Sequim High School Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Sequim Ave., this and next weekend. Opening night is tonight for this senior class play, in fact a clutch of nine short plays exploring love and loss in a remote, mythical community called Almost.
When this play made its debut in 2004 at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine, it broke all box office records at the theater. Critics showered praise on it, and “Almost, Maine” went off to New York City’s Off-Broadway stage.
It’s “a comedy . . . . exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows,” a New York Times reviewer wrote.
“John Cariani’s play will evoke either awws or icks, depending on your affection for its whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance,” the critic added.
“Almost, Maine” has since become the most oft-produced play in North American high schools and recently supplanted Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The play also has unfolded on stages in Australia, Korea, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
In Sequim, seniors and underclassmen and -women portray the people of Almost. The cast of 20 includes Alex Rodriguez, Allie Seay, Aristea Bagia, Bailey Thomas, Ben Heintz, Bernadette Dalm, Cassidy Derrick, Christine Honore, Ciara Westhoven, Hunter Cauffman, Hailey Brock, Jacob Fink, Jacob Major, Julianne Miller, Kristina Holtrop, Lily Paulsen, Miranda Pedersen, Nick Fazio, Will Duncan and Xenia Hernandez.
The young people will take playgoers to Almost, Maine, tonight and Saturday night as well as next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, at 7 p.m. A matinee performance is also set for 2 p.m. this Saturday.
Tickets, to be sold at the door, are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. For more information, phone Robin Hall, longtime director of Sequim High’s dramas and musicals, at 360-460-7860.
Last modified: February 14. 2013 7:52PM