Odessans will have a chance Friday night to attend the Permian Playhouse for “Almost, Maine,” a theater production that has become the most frequently produced play in high schools around the U.S.
Cristi Lloyd is both stage manager for the production and “Woman,” who has traveled the world in the show. “It’s a fun and lighthearted show with emotional moments that leave you feeling warm,” Lloyd said. “There are lots of fun parts and it is relatable to everyone.”
She said auditions were in March and rehearsals have been underway since. “It’s an interesting and fun process to develop your character.”
Lloyd is no stranger to Permian Basin theater. She has spent the last several years at Odessa College working with Mark Kolokoff. She said stage managed the OC shows this past two years and also directed one.
She said Odessans will find that theater in Odessa is a good change from movies or other events. “Take a step out of the comfort zone…. have a willingness to try something different. There are amazing people in the Permian Basin,” she said when asked how to encourage people to attend.
“Almost, Maine” is a play by John Cariani, comprising nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. It premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim. There are 11 short scenes: the Prologue (which continues in the Interlogue and Epilogue), “Her Heart,” “Sad and Glad,” “This Hurts,” “Getting It Back,” “They Fell,” “Where It Went,” “Story of Hope” and “Seeing the Thing.” Besides a few references to characters in other scenes, the stories do not intertwine.
“Almost, Maine” opened Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theatre and was directed by Gabriel Barre. The cast included Todd Cerveris, Justin Hagan, Miriam Shor and Finnerty Steeves.
The play is featured in Smith and Kraus’ “New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006” and was popular in professional and nonprofessional theater companies worldwide. It is now the most produced play in North American high schools, recently supplanting Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” information from the Playhouse detailed.
A New York Times review of a production at TheatreWorks in Hartford in 2013 was positive: “John Cariani’s Almost, Maine is a series of nine amiably absurdist vignettes about love, with a touch of good-natured magic realism… This is a beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings (most but not all of them happy) and passing references to characters from other vignettes, which slyly tell us more about them. Mr. Cariani describes the play’s subject as ‘falling in and out of love.’ It is just as much about pain.”
The Playhouse cast includes:
- Samantha Murray as Ginette.
- Andrew Williams as Pete.
- Gene Powell as East, a repairman.
- Stephanie Clark as Glory, a hiker.
- Braden Grant as Jimmy, a heating and cooling guy.
- Eden Butler as Sandrine, his ex-girlfriend.
- Arianna Salas as The Waitress, no-nonsense type.
- Elizabeth Orani as Marvalyn, a woman, good at protecting herself.
- Brady Suggs as Steve, a kind fellow whose brother protects him.
- Amber Gray as Gayle, longtime girlfriend of Lendall.
- John Murray as Lendall, longtime boyfriend of Gayle.
- Aaron Callaway as Chad, a “Country boy”, Randy’s best friend.
- Cody Whitaker as Randy, another “Country boy”, Chad’s best friend.
- Joseph Ward as Phil, a working man
- Brianna McKown as Marci, his hard-working wife.
- Cristi Lloyd as Woman, who has traveled the world.
- Matt Rist as a Man, who has not.
- Alejandro Quezada as Dave, the not-so-tough man who loves her.
- Arianna Salas as Rhonda, a tough woman.
- What: “Almost, Maine.”
- When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and April 27, 28. Also, 2:30 p.m. April 29.
- Where: Permian Playhouse, 310 W. 42nd St.
- Tickets: $10 at permianplayhouse.com