About Almost, Maine
Review: ‘Almost, Maine’ at the Theatre Factory
on December 5, 2022 • ( 0 )
By Jade Goodes
The Theatre Factory is celebrating love, wintertime, and the spirit of the holiday season in their latest production of Almost, Maine.
Almost, Maine follows the townspeople of the so small it isn’t even considered a legitimate town of Almost, Maine. The play comprises nine vignettes performances that all deal with affairs of the heart. Think Love, Actually but on a smaller scale and less high stakes. These short stories range from first love to friendships to second chances and breakups.
Almost, Maine is the perfect winter’s night show to give you that fuzzy holiday feeling. While the show is essentially the poster child for college student scene work, I can see why it is popular and has a soft spot with theater audiences. The show has at least one character or scene that audience members can relate to. Though some of the scenes come off a little corny and whimsical, they’re still grounded in some form of reality. The show also works well in that it allows for a variety of actors to help tell the story, so you get different voices and faces to present these stories of love in unique ways.
Theatre Factory’s Almost, Maine features a strong ensemble of actors. Most of are only featured in one vignette, but a few make several appearances throughout the show. One of my favorite vignettes was “This Hurts,” featuring Rebekah Hukill and Matt Mylnarski, who did well-bringing humor, quirk, wit, and depth to their characters and the scene itself. “Where It Went” takes on one of the more serious scenes of the show. It sets a different tone from the rest of the play but is one of the only scenes with truth and weight. The actors did a great job of reflecting on a real-life couple’s struggles. “Seeing the Thing” was the audience favorite of the night and a standout for me as well. Kaitlin Cliber and Justin Mohr are adorably hilarious, and while they bring tons of humor to their roles, their chemistry, charm, timing, and physicality made this scene soar.
While not every vignette was as memorable or entertaining as others, something unique about this show is that for every vignette that doesn’t strike you or doesn’t connect with you on some level, there is another one ten minutes away that will. The show has an easy and non-committal form, so the bite-sized capsulated performances make it easier to digest. I had my favorites and standouts, but another scene or performance might strike you completely differently than it did me. So I encourage you to find that for yourself within this production.
Along with the cast, I think the set and lighting design worked perfectly for this show. Designed by Matt Mlynarski, William Jacka, and Clark Stewart respectively, I think they were able to create a wonderful environment for the show to live in. The stage featured a tilted platform so that the entire crowd could see the actions on stage, which I thought was a brilliant choice. The set was a minimalistic winter scene, which worked for each vignette as this only required the actors to bring any props/costumes needed for that particular bit. I enjoyed the allusion of the northern lights and shooting stars used throughout the show. Again, it was a subtle effect, but it worked well and helped set the atmosphere nicely.
The Theatre Factory’s Almost, Maine is a cute winter’s night love story that is the perfect holiday treat for you and your theatre-loving family and friends. If you’re looking for a holiday activity to do with your loved ones, I would highly recommend getting tickets to this show.
The Theatre Factory
The Theatre Factory is a nonprofit dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the performing arts in Westmoreland County. We are proud to provide a home for actors, singers, musicians, designers, and artists throughout the community. Donations will also support our KidWorks program for the education of young performers, and our scholarship program benefitting local high school seniors.