I’m going to try to see more community theater. I spend a lot of time watching professional production at the many professional theaters in town but today I was able to catch ALMOST, MAINE produced by the Village Players in Ft. Thomas, KY. And I’m sure glad I did.
First, here’s an article talking about how the show came to be. Read it and them come back to me.
There are in fact 18 actors and actresses in this cast but the structure of the show makes keeping up with the personalities and characters easy; each scene is its own mini-play within the bigger show. Dan Maloney, the director, has assembled a fine cast who are more than capable of bringing this quirky little piece of theatre to life.
The show begins with a prologue, setting the unusual and somewhat mystical tone. Michael Sauer and Carey Parsons do a lot with just a little and we are off to the races. Up next is perhaps my favorite scene in the show, entitled “Her Heart” starring Ginny Butsch and the wonderful Michael Monks. Let’s just say that things in Almost, Maine don’t work quite the same as they do in other places in the world . . . but people don’t seem all that bothered by these strange idiosyncracies. Marc Richardson, Susan Fleckinger, and Teresa Myers were fine in “Sad & Glad,” but this one was just a little too cute for me. The audience roared, though, and the big reveal. . . so what do I know?
Angela Klocke Fobes and Kenneth Klem were delightful in “This Hurts” and I found myself totally engrossed in this poor man’s plight of not being able to feel pain. Teresa Myers (doing double duty) and Peter Merten had fun with “Getting it Back” in which she has brought all the love she’s been given back in big red bags and demands the same . . . only to be surprised by the result. There are a lot of surprises in this play and you really should go find out what they are for yourself.
“They Fell” is very smartly written. Adrienne Underhill (who I last saw in WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING at the Know Theater) was paired up with Chris Bishop for “Where It Went,” a story of two people waiting for the other shoe to drop. Quite literally. “Story of Hope” featured a desperate woman, ready to finally give the answer she never gave only to find out its too late. Barbara Karol and Dennis Bloom had great chemistry here. And finally, I loved Caitlyn Maurmeier and Dan Maloney (who also directs) in “Seeing the Thing.” She puts an authentic spin on the character of “Rhonda” and his wide-eyed innocence seems genuine, as well. This scene put a nice period on the rest of the show . . . so well, in fact, that the epilogue seemed almost unnecessary. And I would argue that if an intermission is to be taken in this show, then the interlude could be cut entirely. It took as long to set up the set as it did to run the scene. But again, what do I know?
All in all, I was quite pleasantly surprised by this wonderful little show in the quaint village of Ft. Thomas. It is a perfect piece for this kind of theater and I would encourage you to take your main squeeze to see it next week. Or go alone like I did! After you see FROM WHITE PLAINS (my must see pick of the week) you’re gonna want to see something a little lighter and this show is a delicious dessert – think “Northern Exposure” meets “Picket Fences.” Only live. And just $15.
ALMOST, MAINE runs through February 22nd. Tickets are available by calling 859-392-0500. Find out more about the Village Players at their web site.