The Magnificent Magic of Almost, Maine

Falling in love with this “Mid-Winter’s Night Dream”—Almost, Maine is this year’s winter play at South, and an excellent complement to A Little Night Music.

Designed by Corey Seng
By Joyce Ann Lee

As the northern lights shimmer in the star-filled sky, the residents of Almost, Maine, a small town near the U.S.-Canadian border, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected, unusual, and hilarious ways. Hearts are broken and fixed—almost—in this midwinter’s night dream.
In nine short, mostly unrelated scenes in two acts, Almost, Maine portrays the relationships of different groups of characters as they shift throughout the night.
The first and most famous work of actor and playwright John Cariani (known for his role as Julian Beck in Law & Order and Itzik in the Broadway musical The Band’s Visit) Almost, Maine premiered at the Portland Stage Company in 2004 to enthusiastic acclaim.
It was named one of the most astounding regional theatre productions in the 2004/2005 season by both The Wall Street Journal and The American National Theatre and has become one of the most produced plays in American high schools.
The nine-scene play is divided up in such a way that “it offers many opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and time commitments,” said Mr. Tommy Marr, the show’s director. Many parts are double casted with around 30 students playing Almost, Maine’s 19 characters.
Almost, Maine has some similarities with this year’s fall musical, A Little Night Music. Comparing the shows, Mr. Marr said, “I thought it would be a great complement to A Little Night Music, because it shares similar themes about love and relationships but is more modern and accessible than the upper class of 1900 Sweden.”
However, unlike A Little Night Music, this production has previously been performed at South. Reflecting on the 2012 performance, Mr. Marr said, “I remember how meaningful it was to the cast, crew, and audience, so I’m excited to share it with this generation.” Almost, Maine will be performed on February 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th at 7:30 pm in the auditorium.
“If you’ve ever been confused by love, bruised by love, or amused by love—this is the show for you,” Mr. Marr said. “You’ll see a little of yourself in every scene.”