NORWAY – It may be the start of summer this weekend, but the stage at the Norway Grange Hall is in the grips of a typical Maine winter for a few more days.

That’s because “Almost, Maine” opens there Thursday, June 19, and runs through June 29.

For four Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association actors, it’s a cold, clear, moonless night in the remote mythical town of Almost, Maine. There, the residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexplainable and often hilarious ways in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

The four actors in “Almost, Maine” portray 19 different people in nine scenes, and the vignettes all take place at the same moment in time.

“Almost, Maine” is a play by John Cariani, who knows the Pine Tree State and has written about people and their lives in a way that rings true.

“Almost, Maine” premiered in Portland in 2004 and had an off-Broadway run in 2006. A native of Massachusetts, Cariani was brought up in Presque Isle. He is an actor with credits that include Motel in the recent Broadway “Fiddler on the Roof” revival.

Cariani has said he began writing his own material when he ran out of audition pieces.

He said “Almost, Maine” is “about people who are normally very grounded, but who have become excited by love because something or someone has come barreling toward them and kissed them and made them very … excited.”

Kenn Sawyer is directing this show. Cast members are Michael Newsom, Kathryn Gardner, Matt Delamater and Cindy Reedy.

Newsom is making his OHMPAA debut quite a few years after appearing in a regional production of “Grease.” He said he saw the enthusiasm his spouse, Kathryn Gardner, enjoyed in her appearances, including “Something’s Afoot” several months ago.

“She made it look like fun,” he said, so he auditioned and won roles in the production.

“I have lived in Maine all my life, and this is true to Maine,” Newsom said, describing “Almost, Maine” as a lighthearted comedy filled with good characters and honest situations.

Delamater recently performed in area productions, including OHMPAA’s “Something’s Afoot” and “The Laramie Project” at Community Little Theatre in Auburn.

Reedy has been involved in many OHMPAA productions through the years, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Go and do

WHAT: “Almost, Maine”

WHO: Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association

WHEN: at 8 p.m. June 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28; and at 2 p.m.June 22 & 29

WHERE: Norway Grange, 15 Whitman St., Norway

TICKETS: $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under and senior citizens 55 and above. They are available at Books N Things, Main Street, Norway; call 739-6200MORE INFO: at www.ohmpaa.org


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