GCC Play Production Pays Tribute to Love

Seneyda Rodriguez

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Jonathan Caballeros, Staff Writer
April 13, 2013
Filed under Arts and Entertainment, Top Stories

From the blind “love at first sight,” to the painful loss of love that many people face in a day-to-day basis, love has been expressed more than any other emotion, yet is the most difficult to describe.

GCC’s performance of John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” directed by Jeanette Farr opened on April 4. The play tells the stories of nine couples with from different types of relationships such as strictly platonic, the married and soon-to-be. and experiencing love and loss on a cold, moonless, slightly surreal Friday night in the fictional town of Almost, Maine.

Almost, Maine doesn’t bare the normal pattern of a play which follows a story among its acts, but rather follows nine stories all happening at the same time. Although cheesy at points, the topic of love brings a joyful and cute feel to the play, although there are times where sadness pops up to show the reality of how the emotion can bring a person up or down.

Every scene only has two characters on stage in different place in the town of Almost. As each scene begins, the couple of characters either start out as acquaintances, friends or more than friends and throughout the scene, the characters will transform with one another, either growing their bond even stronger or cutting ties in their relationship for good.

The small town feel of the show is prominent, as each character in the story practically know each other. The characters will talk about one another throughout the scenes, although they never talk to each other directly. The famous “hang-out” spot of the town “The Moose Paddy,” gets mentioned a few times by the characters, further increasing the small-town feel of the play.

The relationship between the characters in every vignette is heartfelt throughout the entire play, from the separation between a married couple in “Where it Went,” to the sudden fall into love between best friends in “They Fell,” the actors use their emotions and gestures to create a wonderful viewing experience.

The props used in the performance also helps the play enhance the surrealness of the play, as many of the props are used in odd ways. A broken heart kept in a bag a in the scene of “Her Heart” could potentially make the audience raise an eyebrow or start a chuckle. The partner character in the scene is a repairman and the following response will either be a heartfelt “aww” or a cheesy “ick.” Almost all scenes use a prop in a manner to convey love, or the loss of it, such as a falling shoe, signifying moving on from a relationship in the scene “where it went”.

Although each scene is played in different locations, the northern lights that can be seen in Maine leads as a reminder that all nine scenes play at once. “It’s all about the spontaneous love and magic of the northern lights,” said play director Jeanette Farr. “The northern lights show up in every scene and supposed to be an indicator that everything is happening at the same time.”

Anything can go in the fight for love in the town of Almost, Maine. The northern lights, a little magic and loveable characters bring audiences joy and heart tugging emotion as relationships are built or lost in a matter of minutes on stage.

“Almost, Maine” can be seen from Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium Mainstage Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at www.glendalearts.org or at the box office in the lobby of the auditorium building.

4 out of 5 Stars

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