‘Almost, Maine’ creates slice-of-life atmosphere with humor and heart

The modest set of 'Almost, Maine' at Tucker Theatre. (MTSU Sidelines / Andrew Wigdor)

Are you prepared to take a tour? It is a tour through passionate moments in people’s lives. These are times when important decisions are made. These are times when love is found, and lost. MTSU has created this journey in the performance of Almost, Maine.

The structure of play is split into many separate slice-of-life stories. The stories embody the identity of love in each of the character’s lives. The writing, acting and humor twist together to create those few moments in life that matter most. Relationships are built and torn down in this pseudo-metaphorical depiction of love.

At the start of the play, the curtains rise to reveal the modest set. Most of the scenes are set on a bare stage with one or two set pieces. There is a constant flat and lighting in the back to emphasize the forest and the sunset. While there is not much too it, the set perfectly mirrors the tone of the performance. The lighting is intentionally fitting and gives the actors further ability to build atmosphere. It creates the feeling of a small, quirky town at the edge of reality. This is a place where encounters can become almost magical.

The acting further emphasizes the off-kilter theme of Almost, Maine. Many of the characters are delightfully off-beat, and it’s impressive how much they are developed in such short scenes. These performers take their time emphasizing the little touches to a conversation. This brings an impressive believability to the show, even when they are discussing something ridiculous. Every thought or emotion that is not said aloud, splashes across the actors faces in spectacular fashion. Almost all pairs of actors have chemistry that is felt on-stage and off. The audience will never have to suspend their disbelief when watching the romance unfold. All of the actors handle the humorous aspect of the performance very well. These thespians have impeccable timing for slow-building jokes. A good use of pauses, expressive faces, and well-done physical comedy make the play a hilarious ride.

One of the most shocking elements is how brilliant the writing is. Each scene and story is crafted with insanely perceptive care. Love is shown as poignantly and sometimes as maturely as it is in real life. Each sentence is dripping with palatable emotion. The writing lends to both heart and humor as the play moves forward. There are moments with belly laughs and tears. Each minute, the audience wonders what will come next and how each encounter will end.

Almost, Maine is as wonderfully acted as it is brilliantly written. The stagecraft makes the audience feel right at home, in a small, yet cozy town. Each moment gives further meaning to the scenes, and the show continues to amaze. As an audience member, your sense of wonder is sure to take hold in this beautiful portrayal of love. So, if you even almost have in interest in MTSU theatre, find a seat at Almost, Maine.

To view the schedule for ‘Almost, Maine’ and purchase tickets, visit the Tucker Theatre website.

For more stories and updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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