Wednesday, November 4, 2015

reviews - ALMOST, MAINE - Theater Works

BJ Garrett and Amanda Melby
Photo by Moran Imaging / Theater Works
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 15th.

"Featuring smart dialogue and interesting characters, John Cariani's Almost, Maine is a sweet, charming, and realistic collection of short vignettes that show the ups and downs of relationships. With an exceptional cast of four, who are more than capable of portraying the various characters, and solid direction, Theater Works' production is magical and full of heart and humor. One very chilly Friday night, the offbeat, slightly neurotic residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves tackling the many facets of love. Over a dozen scenes we meet the citizens of, and a couple of visitors to, this northern most town in Maine....Each scene focuses on a different couple attempting to navigate their way through the always confusing maze of love...Cariani has created fully fleshed out characters who deal with realistic situations....Director Richard Powers Hardt has done an exceptional job of steering his cast to achieve effective portrayals. While most of the pieces end with an ironic twist or a sweet surprise, he doesn't let his cast allow those moments to become cloying or unrealistic, and even instills many of the scenes with a profound sense of hope. Amanda Melby, Amy Garland, BJ Garrett, and Scott Hyder are the talented cast of four who portray their multiple parts with apparent ease....John Cariani's Almost, Maine is both funny and touching and Theater Works is presenting a well-crafted production of this popular play that ends up being surprising and engaging, achieved by an exceptional cast with clear and succinct direction. It may be starting to turn cold outside in the suburbs of Phoenix, but this collection of romantic stories is enough to warm the heart of any relationship skeptic."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

A river runs through Almost, Maine, and it is called authenticity..John Cariani...crafted the vignettes that constitute ALMOST, MAINE. The work is a collection of heartful encounters, involving eighteen very distinct personalities, set in a place that will not be found on any map, in a town that never got organized and thus never claimed a name beyond Almost. The glory of Theater Works' staging of this sweetness of a play, directed by Richard Powers Hardt, lies in the amazing ability of its four stars to shift seamlessly from one scene to another and to sculpt, at each new turn, distinctly different characters ~ never stepping over or repeating a prior enactment, a remarkable feat in itself.
Amanda Melby, Amy Garland, Scott Hyder, and BJ Garrett own this show. Their performances are tenderly drawn, understated but potent, brilliantly capturing the idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities of the lovers that populate Almost....Theater Works delivers the goods and warms the heart in this stirring production of ALMOST MAINE,"  -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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