Rom com showcase ‘Almost, Maine’ heats up mainstage

Paige Comaduran

In the small town of Almost, Maine, tucked away in the quiet woods, we learn that the universal power of love can strike everyone, even in the forgotten crevices of the world.

New City College theater professor Michael Gros, presents the romantic comedy off-Broadway play, set in this remote town, titled just that – “Almost, Maine.”

“This is a story of the loves and love losses in one community in one night,” Gros said.

The play is a 12-character showcase. It focuses on a single snow-banked winter night where six couples ignite, confide, and swelter their love for each other. One couple performs per scene within the nine-scene play.

“Love is not always kind and easy,” Gros said. “But it’s a slice-of-life play with a lot of humor.”

Gros said the play isn’t meant to be serious, but in the scene “Where it Went,” rehearsed last Thursday, Gros said probably is the most austere of all. The other scenes are meant to somewhat just mock the aspects that complicate love.

Trevor Thompson and Maja Wijk act the couple performing in this scene. They are both avid theater arts students. Thompson plays the confused and frustrated husband Phil, and Wijk plays Marcy, the bitter and agitated wife.

Thompson is a returning student “in-learning” at City College, already having graduated from UCSB. This is his second year within the theatre program.

With an already successful turnout for callbacks, Thompson has been cast in “The Suicide” and “Machinal” during his four semesters at the college.

The scene, filled with emotional tension, can encompass the dying strength of any long-term relationship.

“I picture my dad,” said Wijk, a second-year transfer student from Sweden, referring to the acted argument between her and Thompson. “These are my parents right out of the play.”

The 12 were picked from more than 50 students who auditioned.

“Almost, Maine” was written by John Cariani, a Maine native, and now New York writer and actor, and was originally crafted for four actors. But due to the City College students’ busy schedules, more actors were casted.

“I chose a play that was accessible for the actors,” Gros said.

Gros said that in the showcase Cariani “plays off every word he writes,” in this unraveling love-crazed night.