If you try to locate Almost, Maine while searching MapQuest on your computer or looking at Rand McNally’s Atlas, you will not find it residing in New England as the title of Waterworks Players’ next production suggests. Rather, your search would carry you to Mexico, Australia, Dubai, as well as locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Since closing in New York two years ago, John Cariani’s Almost, Maine has become the most-produced play in North America, with over 600 companies staging the romantic comedy. Set in a remote, mythical town in northern Maine, Almost, Maine is a collection of nine stories about Almost’s residents who find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Yes, knees are bruised and hearts are broken, but they heal and mend, well—almost—in this delightful show.
Almost, Maine dethroned Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream as the reigning play produced by schools. The fact this play has become such a high school favorite over shows like Our Town is remarkable given that one scene involves two men falling in love, that might prevent productions in more conservative areas. Yet the play has been successfully performed twice in Dubai where a strict government agency must approve all theatrical scripts before being staged.
“Everyone wants to stage Almost, Maine,” says Waterworks’ artistic director Dudley Sauve, “high schools, community theatres, not to mention professional troupes. I didn’t realize how popular Almost, Maine was until I wrote and tried to get the rights to stage the show. It took us over a year to get permission to perform it.”
The cast includes Waterworks veterans Anita Lynn, who has portrayed Roxie in Chicago and Yvonne in Miss Saigon, and Linda Sauvé, whose credits include the corrupt Matron “Mama” Morton in Chicago and Catherine in Proof. They are joined by Leigh Lunsford, who was the witch in the holiday pantomime Hansel and Gretel and Mags in Painting Churches, Brandon Nuckols whose roles include Rick in The Nerd and Jesus in Cotton Patch Gospel, and LeShawn Bell who served as the Master of Ceremonies in Chicago. Don Blaheta, who just moved to the area, will be making his premiere on the Waterworks stage.
Don’t get left out in the cold, make reservations now to attend Waterworks Players’ production of Almost, Maine. Your heart will be warmed! Performances are at 8:00 pm on February 10, 11, 17, and 18. Tickets are $10. You can obtain tickets by calling the box office at 434-392-3452 or visiting the web site: https://waterworksplayers.org.