ALMOST, MAINE on stage at The Magic Lantern Theatre

By Leigh Macmillen Hayes

Special to The News

REHEARSING — Tony Ennis and Mellissa Mattucci rehearse a scene for the upcoming production of ALMOST, MAINE. (Photo by Leigh Macmillen Hayes)

Under the northern lights on a cold, clear, moonless night in the mythical town of Almost, Maine, locals find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways.

Told through eight delightful and heartwarming vignettes, all of which take place simultaneously at 9 p.m. on a Friday night, ALMOST, MAINE is a play about life and love in the stark landscape.

The experiences of the people run the emotional gamut. There is the highly unusual Glory who turns up pitching an unwanted tent in the yard of the somewhat dismayed East. She’s traveled to Almost, carrying her broken heart in a paper bag and is awaiting the opportunity to say goodbye to her recently departed husband under the aurora borealis.

At a bachelorette party at The Moose Paddy, a local pub, the bride-to-be, Sandrine, encounters Jimmy, a guy she jilted months and months ago — and hasn’t seen since. A bit of an oaf, he was so distraught after she left him that he had his arm tattooed with a supposed warning to future love interests. Unfortunately, he misspelled the warning.

Another charming piece features a young woman who arrives at her boyfriend’s doorstep with a bunch of enormous bags she claims are filled with the love he gave to her. In return, she wants back the love she gave him, similarly packaged.

This is not your typical show, but it is a true winter joy.

ALMOST, MAINE lets in a cold blast of hot love! This is a play to love — for its quirkiness and its unabashed romantic spirit,” — The Los Angeles Daily News.

“A thoughtful, quirky, snappy look at love in its most contemporary incarnation. Often painful; often sidesplitting; always rewarding,” — Nashville Pride.

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ALMOST, MAINE

By John Cariani

Directed by Rob A. Juergens

When: Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28 at 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and are available at Hayes True Value Hardware, Bridgton, Krainin Real Estate in Raymond, Raymond Village Florist, Casco Public Library, Naples Public Library, Bridgton Public Library and the Magic Lantern Theater.

Info: For more information, go to www.lrctme.org

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“Every so often, and far too infrequently, some little play comes along about which we know nothing; hence, low expectations. Then it proves to be completely captivating. ALMOST, MAINE is such a show,” — The Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Mo.).

The playwright, John Cariani, is originally from Presque Isle. ALMOST, MAINE, his first play, premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004. Also an actor, Cariani was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in a Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. He is familiar to television viewers of Law & Order in his role as forensic expert Julian Beck.

Rob A. Juergens will direct ALMOST, MAINE for Lake Region Community Theatre. The production features a cast of 13 including: Tim Richardson, Keli Forke, Tom Ferent, Teresa Dyer, Tony Ennis, Katie Neault, Kim Vigneau, Shannon Oliver, Tim Lorrain, Mellissa Mattucci, Brett Spalding, Nathan Sipe and Barb Stauble.

Scenery is designed by Greg Harris. Lighting and sound is by Greg Watkins. Props are by Mellissa Mattucci. Lew Krainin, Janet Ver Planck and Jyselle Watkins are the producers.

ALMOST, MAINE will be performed by Lake Region Community Theatre at the Magic Lantern in Bridgton with special permission from the Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

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