Greenwood Little Theatre is gearing up to present “the perfect date-night play.”
“You can go out to dinner and come see a play with your spouse or significant other, and it’s something really fun to enjoy together,” said Alicia Dallas, director of “Almost, Maine.”
The romantic comedy consists of a series of eight vignettes of people falling in and out love.
The production will open at the W.M. Whittington Jr. Playhouse at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, and will also be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 5, and 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.
“Almost, Maine,” written by John Cariani, explores love and loss in a small, fictional almost-town called Almost, Maine.
It premiered in 2004 at the Portland Stage Co. in Portland, Maine, where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim.
Set in present day in an unincorporated area in northern Maine, each scene in the play takes place at the same time of day — 9 o’clock at night.
“So each scene starts, and it’s about 10 minutes per scene, and at the end of each scene, the northern lights appear,” said Dallas. “You see that again and again at the end of the scene. ... Some of the characters respond to it, and some of them it just happens, and they are just in their moment; but it’s still going on because everyone is having these experiences at the same time.”
Rather than a play with straight-forward slapstick comedy, “Almost, Maine” uses cerebral humor, said Dallas.
“I just like how funny it is, really,” she said. “It’s fresh humor that you don’t really see in a lot of plays.”
Dallas also said the production often uses word play.
“There’s a lot of funny bits, and there’s some bits that make you kind of think for a second, ‘What am I really watching? I thought I was watching a comedy, and now all this really emotional stuff is happening.’”
So, although “Almost, Maine” is sure to get plenty of laughs, it also includes several touching moments as the play deals with the complex nuances of love and relationships.
It’s about “couples that used to be together, people who are meeting for the first time and falling in love, people who have been friends for years who finally decided to take the next step in their relationship, a couple that has been married for a long time and has kids and decides they don’t want to continue being married,” said Dallas.
The Little Theatre’s production of “Almost, Maine” features a cast of eight, who will each perform at least two parts.
“They are doubling scenes and playing different characters,” said Dallas.
The play’s director is excited to have a mixed cast. It includes adults and teenagers who are longtime Greenwood Little Theatre performers and others who will be appearing on the GLT stage for the first time.
“We have some people who have been involved at the theater for a long time. We have some people who are new to the community. We’ve got people from out of town,” said Dallas. “We’ve all had a lot of fun putting it on.”
“Almost, Maine” fits Greenwood Little Theatre’s “Small Town America” theme this season.
“Almost, Maine, is very, very small,” said Dallas. “It’s just a bunch of people living up in northern Maine without any kind of city government or anything, and everybody knows everybody. ... They are all friends. They all work together. They are all completely interconnected in their everyday lives.”
The show is free for current Greenwood Little Theatre members. Tickets for non-members cost $10 for students (age 21 and younger) and $15 for adults. Visit greenwoodlittletheatre.com or call or text (662) 947-1075 to reserve seats.
• Contact Ruthie Robison at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.