For Immediate Release
September 18, 2013
For more information, contact
Brockport, NY – In the eight vignettes that comprise Almost, Maine, audiences get to look through a keyhole at the lives and loves of some of the citizens of the magical, mystical – and fictional – town that lends the play its title. Drawn in part from the Presque Isle, ME, upbringing of playwright John Cariani, the play’s characters find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Performances of this charming comedy begin on Friday, October 4, 2013, at 7:30 pm in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, on the Brockport campus. Tickets are $16/General, $11/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $8.50/Students. Tickets are available online at fineartstix.brockport.edu.
Similar in structure to the Department of Theatre and Music Studies’ highly regarded Festival of Ten, and as familiar as Lake Woebegon or Northern Exposure’s Cicely, AK, the residents of Almost, ME, are a special kind of people. After noting that the play is “a whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance,” The New York Times indicated that Cariani “is working from the notion that the remoter expanses of the country are the natural harbor of the adorably lovelorn, the touched and the irretrievably lost.”
A Tony Award®-nominated actor, Cariani’s evolution from onstage to offstage artist stemmed from what he considered a dearth of decent audition material for men. So he took it upon himself to create his own. That audition piece begat a series of monologues that were presented at an NBC-sponsored event for budding playwrights. Eventually, he realized that some of the monologues (which had numbered more than 20 at the time) were thematically related and were all a bit fantastical. With a bit of trimming here and expansion there, a play was born.
And not just a play, but a bit of a phenomenon, too. After a disappointingly brief Off-Broadway run in 2006, Almost, Maine has gone on to become the most-produced play in high schools (2011-12) and has had numerous professional productions, both nationally and internationally, including two in Dubai. Not only have these productions taken place, but audiences have embraced the play.
Jack Thomas, the lead producer of the original Off-Broadway production, admits that “when shows have a certain sweetness, an absolute lack of guile, they can be very good” for regional productions. When the play was mounted in Florida, a critic for the Florida Weekly jumped on the Almost, Maine bandwagon, expressing that the play was “moving without being manipulative, and sweet without being cloying.”
Perhaps the story of Almost, Maine is the heart-warming, Cinderella story of its success, worthy of the inhabitants of Almost, Maine.
Performances of Almost, Maine are October 4, 5, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm. There is also a matinee on Sunday, October 6, at 2 pm, which will be sign language interpreted. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office, 180 Holley Street, Brockport.
This year’s theatre season also includes performances of Avenue Q,, winner of the 2003 Tony Award® for Best Musical, Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Teresa Rebeck (Smash), and Charles Mee’s bobrauschenbergamerica, a collection of simple moments of simple lives captured as the artist himself may have done.
More information on the 2013-14 Fine Arts Series at The College at Brockport can be found at www.brockport.edu/finearts.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu