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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Warm Fuzzies from Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine, by John Carini
Directed by Brenley Charkow
Designed by Steven Degestein, Colin Labadie and Tristan Tidswell
Featuring Peggy Coffey, Jade Elliott, David Kirby, Andy Pogson, Stephanie Roth and Stacy Smith

Those of us self-confessed theatre junkies who are Stratford-bound, unable to travel to Toronto to get our stage-fix, find ourselves going through a bit of withdrawl at this time of year, a few months before the big house up the road officially opens for the season.

It was therefore with a sigh of relief and deep contentment to settle into a seat at the newly-revamped Masonic Hall to enjoy Harley Dog's production of Almost, Maine, by John Cariani.

It is they type of play usually put on by the Blyth Festival - down-homey, sentimental but not so much you'd gag, very funny and altogether charming.

It's all about love, or almost love, and people falling in it, and I mean this metaphorically and quite literally (thank you, Mssrs Pogson and Elliott).

The cast are all alumni of the other stages hereabout - Stratford, Blyth, Drayton - and further afield, so the performances are highly professional, the pacing is great and the comedic timing almost perfect.

And it doesn't matter that Almost, Maine is set in a place just as frozen as our current locale, the production leaves you with enough warm fuzzies to last the winter through.

Thanks, Harley Dog. I needed that. 

Almost, Maine continues at the Masonic Hall in Stratford until February8th. 

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