On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways.
Knees are bruised, hearts are broken; love is lost, found and confounded. But the bruises heal, the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.
“Almost, Maine,” written by John Cariani and directed by Carin Zakes Green, will be presented at , 222 Grace Church St., on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. A presentation of the PCCFA’s 30th Anniversary Artist Series, the new production reunites the director, cast and crew from a previously produced, sold-out three-weekend run at Connecticut’s Darien Arts Center in March 2011.
“Almost, Maine” premiered at The Portland Stage Company in 2004, ran briefly on Broadway in 2006, and subsequently became one of the most popular and oft-produced plays in America and around the world. In 2010, it surpassed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as the number one produced play in American high schools.
“The play has an honesty and appeal that transcends age, country and culture,” said Zakes. “Almost, Maine” has been compared to the work of Thornton Wilder, O’Henry and Garrison Keillor; one critic described it as It’s a Wonderful Life crossed with The Twilight Zone!”
Part of the play’s appeal lies in its unusual and magical setting which is also the title of the play. The fictional town of Almost, Maine, is located 75 miles north of where Interstate 95 ends in remote, northern (real-life) Aroostook County. Clear dark skies, shooting stars and a spectacular Aurora Borealis are featured as prominently as the play’s characters: nineteen men and women, played by nine actors, falling in and out of love in nine unique, unpredictable scenes in two acts.
Zakes has reunited what she calls “a dream cast” of local actors, including Port Chester residents Rasha Clark, Mario Fuentes, Peter Green and Larry Reina, joined by Marc Hartog from Westport, CT; Nancy Anderson from Norwalk, CT; Lynn Barasch of South Salem, and Scott Faubel of White Plains. Port Chester crew includes Lighting Designer Jac-ques Robinson, special lighting effects by Anthony Tedesco, graphics by Dani Peets, and Production Coordinator Amy Simmons.
The romantic and supernatural themes of Almost, Maine are enhanced with original music written especially for the production by Broadway composer and conductor Keith Levenson, a Pound Ridge resident whose many credits include the Broadway and national touring productions of Annie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Who’s Tommy, Big River, and Dreamgirls.
“Almost, Maine” will be presented at The Port Chester Senior Center, 222 Grace Church Street, on Friday, April 27 at 8 pm, and Saturday, April 28 at 2 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $15 general admission; Students and Seniors $10 and Port Chester Senior Citizens free. Reservations call 914-939-3183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In its 30 years, the Port Chester Council for the Arts has mounted more than 110 productions, featuring 2,000 adults and children. Today, the PCCFA presents children’s, teen and adult theatre productions and runs educational arts-based programs including an artist-in-residence program for grades K-5 in conjunction with the Port Chester school district.
In 2008, the PCCFA founded the annual NATIONAL ARTS in the School Day which recognizes the vital role of the arts in education. To learn more about the PCCFA, visit www.portchestercfa.org.