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Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine

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Published by josh

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: josh on Apr 01, 2010
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05/31/2010

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 Almost, Maine
Joshua MinzeUvid 10554650HUM – 1010T51 – 5October 31, 2009Theater Encounter 
 
 Almost, Maine
is not actually the name of a real city in Maine, but the title of agreat play. On Saturday October 23, 2009, I went to Texas Christian University’s StudioTheater in Fort Worth, Texas to see a live performance of this humorous and touchingplay.
 Almost, Maine
was written by actor and playwright, John Cariani. Most of youknow him from his role as CSU tech Julian Beck on television’s Law &Order, and for hisperformance as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 revival of 
Fiddler on the Roof 
for which hereceived a Tony award nomination. 2004 was a remarkable year for Cariani, as he alsobegan his career as a playwright. His first play,
 Almost Maine
, debuted at PortlandStage Company and was named one of the best plays of the year by
The Wall Street Journal.
Only two years later 
 Almost, Maine
opened off-Broadway and has beenproduced in 300 theaters all over the United States and in places as far flung as Mexico,Korea, Germany, and Australia.
 Almost, Maine
is the story of nine people in their mid30’s dealing with the joys and downfalls of romance and love. As the northern lightshover over the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost find themselves falling inand out of love in magical and hilarious ways
. Almost, Maine
is appealing to manypeople because it has a common theme that everyone can relate to; love.Cariani, being from Maine originally, created the town of Almost to be a mythicalcomposite of several Maine towns. He says that if Almost really existed it would be asparsely populated town in the northernmost county of Maine. Empty land, wide-openspace and a big sky are the town’s foremost features. This sparse location and highlyilluminated stage lighting (northern lights) are both very important to the scenes in theplay. Each scene has a climax, or “magical moment” that the audience is highlyanticipating. The very bright northern lights are displayed between each scene. These
 
revisiting are denoted as “transitional auroras.” These revisitings make you realize thatthe play is about 1 moment in time. Things can happen to change people in aheartbeat. Everything takes place at 9:00 PM on a cold, clear, moonless, slightlysurreal Friday night in the middle of winter. Also, not many props are used, as all of thestage sets are quite minimal. The actors look just like ordinary people. They areportrayed as hard working, extremely dignified, honest and true. Their dialogue issimple, honest, and truly spoken from the heart. They do not have funny accents or wear extraordinary clothing. They are portrayed as simpletons who are dealing with thehardest toughest thing there is in life.The scenography and stage lighting are important elements in
 Almost,Maine
; however Cariani also uses irony, satire, and metaphors to create a comedic andimaginative effect. I particularly liked Scene 2 which illustrates a man’s lost andrekindled love. In this scene, Cariani uses over exaggerated irony to prove that abroken heart can heal. When the scene opens, Jimmy is drinking alone at a local bar,the Moose Patty. He runs into his ex-girlfriend, Sandrine. He is still madly in love withher, and is crushed when he finds out that she is there for her bachelorette party. Whilethey are talking, Sandrine notices a new tattoo on Jimmy’s arm that says, “villian.” Hetells her that it is spelled wrong, and that it’s supposed to say, “villain.” Jimmyconfessed to Sandrine that driving her away from him was “criminal,” and he wanted topunish himself. He said that by tattooing “villain” on his forearm, he would constantly bereminded of his mistake. Sandrine says goodbye to the heartbroken Jimmy and thewaitress at the Moose Patty brings Jimmy a beer. They commence in small talk andthen introduce themselves. The waitress tells Jimmy her name is Villian, and Jimmy is

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