CLT will explore ‘magical’ situations in Almost, Maine

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AUBURN — “Almost, Maine” is a whimsical, witty and wise Valentine for area theater lovers from Community Little Theatre, opening Friday, Feb. 10.

The show is a series of love stories played out on a cold night in midwinter as the northern lights hover in a star-filled sky above northern Maine. Some stories are tender, some are complicated and some are humorous. All of them add up to an entertaining evening of comedy and drama.

The 10 scenes  take place around 9 o’clock on a Friday night when several residents of the fictitious town of Almost, Maine, west of Caribou, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often funny ways.

“The situations are sort of magical,” said Katie St. Pierre, the show’s director. She added that the characters maintain their realistic side in each of the scenes, which are much like 10 short one-act plays.

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It’s the beauty of the writing that “bridges the gap between serious and kind of unrealistic,” St. Pierre said.

Among the scenes are “Her Heart,” involving a repairman and a hiker; “Sad and Glad,” about a heating and cooling guy and a salty waitress; “Story of Hope” involving a world-traveling woman and stay-at-home man,” and “Seeing the Thing,” about a tough woman and a not-so-tough man.

The play, by native Maine author John Cariani, has a cast of eight actors who portray multiple characters. They include four popular CLT veterans, Roger Philippon, Eileen Messina, Jason Pelletier and Victoria Machado.

Philippon has been performing on the CLT stage for 20 years. His most recent appearance was as Bob Ewell in last season’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Messina has appeared in many CLT on-stage roles, directed four shows and choreographed several musicals.

Pelletier last played Lionel in “Cinderella;” and Machado has been a stage manager for CLT for the last five years and was last seen on-stage in “Inspecting Carol.”

Three relative newcomers appearing in “Almost, Maine” are Kay Myrick, who is also the show’s producer; Van Beekman, an experienced actor who recently moved to the L-A area from Wyoming; Christine Doucette, appearing in her third CLT production; and Chiara Ferrante, a veteran of numerous shows elsewhere.

Ferrante is costumer for the production, and Michael Koch and Bill Hamilton are overseeing set design. Glynnis Nadel is assistant director and light design is by Richard Martin.

CLT Artistic Director Mitchell Clyde Thomas described “Almost, Maine” as “funny, romantic, warm, sweet, poignant and witty.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11 and 17-18; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 and 19. The shows are at CLT’s home in the Great Falls Arts Center, 30 Academy St.

For tickets, call the CLT box office at 783-0958 or visit www.laclt.com.

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