The current offering at the Shawnee Theatre is titled “Almost,” Maine.” It’s a set of nine brief nicely produced and acted scenes directed by Ben Gougeon. They’re almost all duets about love.
“Almost, Maine” is described as “…a small town that does not quite exist,…” but amidst the snow drifted stage of the Shawnee Theatre, it’s a vibrant place on a “…cold, clear, moonless, winter night…” that’s occasionally lit by the drama of the aurora borealis.
Love is very much the focus of the show. There’s a broken hearted woman who just happens to meets the right repairman. There’s a young man who in despair has misspelled the word “villain” in a tattoo on his arm. He’s lucky enough to find a girl who’s actually named “villian.” There’s a young boy who learns quite literally that a kiss can lead to pain and a woman who’s trying to return a car full of bags of love to a man who’s been waiting too long to follow up with a proposal. And these are just the first act.
“Almost, Maine” features six actors in the show and they’re a nicely matched set that bring both energy and expertise to their scenes. The little plays have the fresh feel of improvisation, but with the polish of thoughtful revision. Although there are some down moments and failures of love, in most of the scenes it triumphs and frequently it does it in quite funny ways.
“Almost, Maine” is a thoroughly involving and entertaining evening. It plays Friday and Saturday at eight and Sunday at two at the Shawnee Theatre in Bloomfield.
You can find an interview with director Ben Gougeon on our Arts Interviews podcast page .