Review of ALMOST, MAINE – Monomoy Theatre production

Jacob Poitras, Contributor

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Almost, Maine is a play by John Cariani that is really just nine shorter plays put together into one, revolving around a general theme of love and loss. The setting is the same throughout the play, though. It takes place in a small town named Almost in Maine. The story shows how love can be both harmful and healing. Each little play contains its own characters that don’t appear in any of the other little plays. The prologue and epilogue contain the same characters.

The prologue shows a boy and a girl who have been dating, awkwardly sitting with each other and unable to show their love for each other effectively. The girl then walks away. In each of the little plays, there is some funny little ironic thing that is usually meant to be figurative but is meant literally. In the first play, a girl is carrying around a bag containing her “broken heart” and a repairman claims he can fix it. In another play, in which a guy  and a girl have recently broken up, the girl returns the love he gave her, but in bags. Love obviously isn’t a tangible object, it is a feeling. But she brings it in the form of bags full of, well, love. She then asks for her love back and the guy pulls out a ring.  Another play showed two guys that fell in love with each other. And they, literally, were falling down on the ground over and over again to show this. It got a laugh out of the audience. After all of the plays, the epilogue shows the same girl walking on from the other side of the stage, implying that she walked around the entire world and they end up together in the end. It is a “happy ever after” ending.

The play was definitely very different than any play I’ve ever seen before, with its own unique kind of storyline. The play shows the audience a very physical and visual interpretation of how love makes us feel. I consider myself more of a musical type of person. To me, a pit band and spontaneous singing is what makes plays interesting. However, Almost, Maine was not a musical, but I still found myself fully immersed and entertained.

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