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Arts & Culture

Bob Goepfert Reviews “Almost, Maine” At Lake Theatre

A scene from "Almost Maine"

LAKE GEORGE:  There are many different ways to measure the success of a theatrical production.  Some people look for profound material, others love spectacle on stage, and still others look for the poetry and verse of playwrights like William Shakespeare.

You’ll find little of the above in the sweet, gentle play, “Almost, Maine,” playing at the Lake Theatre in Lake George through September 3.  What you will get is something just as valuable – that’s a comfortable experience that is so optimistic it suggests all is right with the world.   And isn’t that a welcome way to spend a couple of hours?

Since Lake Theatre is a dinner theatre, “Almost, Maine” is perfect entertainment after an enjoyable meal.  It is offered in two acts that use

nine scenes, plus a prelude and an epilogue.  Nineteen characters are played by four talented actors. And it is complete in under two hours.

The residents of the town of Almost in the northern part of Maine are people who live simple lives but are not simpletons.   The basis of every story in the play is the search for honest love.  Most of the time there is the promise of finding that love, but sometimes a scene has to do with the loss of love.   But even in those moments there is a touch of whimsy and “magical realism” that bring humor to the experience.

The performers create enormously likeable individuals, who win your heart.  Though each performer plays a type, they make every character distinctive.   Hillary Parker is ideal as the vulnerable woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, but is unable to articulate her feelings. David Perez-Ribada plays awkwardly loveable characters that just seem to be trying to figure things out. Samantha Rosentrater is the woman who refuses to fall in love, but her emotional vulnerability gets it the way.  Patrick Rooney is the basic hard-working  guy who wants little from life except to love his partner, yet struggles to get it right.    

It’s all directed sensitively by Jarel Davidow, who never lingers on a scene or a transition.   He takes only two hours with an intermission to tells the stories.  It’s the perfect length of time to appreciate a romantic-comedy after a full meal.  

By the way, the meal is as good as the show.   At our table of four, two had the Medallions of Beef with Bordelaise sauce, another had the Char-Grilled Chicken Breast and one had the Broiled Atlantic Salmon.  All meals are served with a salad, rolls, vegetables, coffee and cheesecake for dessert.  No one tried the Vegetarian Pasta. Each meal was declared delicious and there was as much applause for our dinners and the efficient servers as there was for the show – which was abundant.

“Almost, Maine” produced by Lake Theatre at the Holiday Inn Express, Route 9, Lake George.  Evenings Wednesdays – Saturdays, dinner 6:30, show 8 p.m.   matinees Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday August 8 and 22.    306-4404

Bob Goepfert is theater reviewer for the Troy Record

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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