Tales of Love, Friendship, and Heartache Abound in Barley Sheaf’s ALMOST, MAINE

by Patricia Bradford

The Barley Sheaf Players continue their landmark 50th anniversary season – in which they are reviving shows that they have produced over the past 5 decades – with their spring performance of ALMOST, MAINE. Co-Directed by longtime Barley Sheaf members Cindy Schneider and Rhonda Bastarache, the play follows the residents of the mythical town of Almost, Maine on a cold, wintry night, as they fall in and out of love in unexpected, and sometimes hilarious, ways.

ALMOST, MAINE is actually comprised of nine individual scenes, each focused on a different set of characters. The central character is really the town of Almost. Even though each scene is separate from the next and the individual characters never recur, they are all connected by the magical town in which they reside.

As each scene begins, those in the audience are likely to relate to many of the situations in which the characters find themselves: trying to move on after a loved one passes, running into an ex unexpectedly, or realizing that perhaps your best friend could be something even more. However, each scene also contains something fantastical in nature. The style is best described as having an element of magical realism: Though the characters are very down-to-earth and relatable, the situations they find themselves in have some unexpected or mystic element to them.

ALMOST, MAINE was originally produced by the Barley Sheaf Players in 2008, shortly after its 2006 Off-Broadway run. Though its original run in New York was short, the play was featured in Smith and Kraus’ collection, New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006. Another interesting fact is that the author, John Cariani, is also an actor (you may have seen him in the original Broadway cast of Something Rotten! as Nigel Bottom), giving him extra insight into how the script can be translated from the written page to the stage.

ALMOST, MAINE has a story for everyone (though young children may want to stay home, as they probably would not follow some of the plot very well). Tickets are $17 for adults, and $13 for students (under 18) and seniors. Tickets can be reserved online at www.barleysheaf.org or by calling the box office at 610-363-7075.

Photo credit: Andrea Grinwis

Theater/Organization The Barley Sheaf Players
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.barleysheaf.org/

Theater/Organization Address: 810 N. Whitford Road Lionville, Pennsylvania 19353 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (610) 363-7075

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