Written by Dan McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00
Garden City High School is gearing up for its performance of John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. Get ready to hike as far north and east as you possibly can on U.S. soil to Aroostook County, Maine: 6,453 square miles with just 40 people per square mile. Within this vast expanse sits Almost: population 300. It’s not quite, but it’s just about, a town. As one of its residents explains, “See, to be a town you gotta get organized. And we never got around to gettin’ organized, so … we’re just Almost.”
The time is the present. Everything takes place at nine o’clock on a cold, clear, moonless, slightly surreal Friday night in the middle of the deepest part of a northern Maine winter: 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Almost, Maine is a series of vignettes following the people of Almost falling in and out of love. We follow the characters as they experience moments of shock, amazement, discomfort, pain, and quiet breathlessness. The people of Almost are ordinary, but this night will be different.
As The New York Times raves, “Magical happenings bloom beneath the snow drifts.” Almost’s citizens are realizing things are not quite as they seem. Pete (Andrew Petersen) and Ginette (Michela Murray) who have been dating for a while, find magic under the stars; East (Dan McElroy), who’s a repair man, and Glory (Gabby Nastasi), a hiker, find closure beneath the northern lights; Jimmy, a heating and cooling guy, (Aidan McGovern, pictured here with Casey Duff), and Sandrine (Casey Duff) find that life goes on after love is gone; Marvalyn (Alix Della Penna), a woman who is very good at protecting herself, and Steve (Fabrice Frederique), a kind fellow whose brother protects him, learn how love can hurt; Gayle (Casey Duff) and Lendall (Dan McElroy), a longtime girlfriend and boyfriend, rediscover their love; Randy (Fabrice Frederique) and Chad (Andrew Petersen) – two country boys – fall in love, and are petrified at the reality; Phil (Michael Arianis), a hardworking man, and Marci (Alix Della Penna), his hardworking wife, wish on a shooting star; Hope (Kathleen Beatty), who has traveled the world, and a Man (Matt Quigley) who hasn’t, find that they aren’t quite the same people as they used to be; Rhonda (Gabby Nastasi), a tough woman, and Dave (Aidan McGovern), the not-so-tough man who loves her, learn what love is and what else it can be.
Love is in the air, but the people of Almost don’t quite know why or even how, but – as an Aroostook tourism brochure says – “Northern Maine instills memories that not even time can fade.”
The show will take place on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in the high school’s Inez Spiers Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and senior citizens. Please call 516-478-2531 with any questions. Senior citizens from the community are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on Thursday, Nov. 21 sponsored by the Garden City Teachers’ Association. Free coffee and pastries will be served at 3:30 p.m., and the dress rehearsal will begin at 4 p.m.