Love In A Place Called Maine
By Evo Joel Contrivida
What is love? Just go to Maine, it will surely spark the many desires of your heart. But in the end, love conquers all.
It’s love forever, even in the coldest corner of this world. That’s the main message of Repertory’s latest offering, Almost Maine by playwright John Cariani. It opened two weeks ago at Onstage, Greenbelt 1, and will last until March 13, 2016.
The play is like a compilation of different love stories, which features many “hugot” lines on love which all happened in one icy cold place called Maine. One story was about teaching us to love in a distance, other one is giving us hope in an unexpected situation in which you are trying to repair your broken heart, while some gave us view on how friendship developed into a deeper relationship. And many others that tell us to move on and start searching for the right one.
Under the direction of Bart Guingona, Repertory Philippines gave tribute to all lovers, and offered them something unique in staging a real romantic comedy. After directing and acting in last year’s The Normal Heart, Guingona was good in providing the timing of his actors and make Almost Maine a remarkable performance of the cast. One of the most impressive scenes was the falling in love scene of two actors, literally giving notion that they are really falling in love to each other. This one gave the most applauded scene and almost made everyone held on to their seats while laughing out loud.
Playing the 19 characters arE four equally talented performers, namely, Jamie Wilson, Caisa Borromeo, Natalie Everett and Reb Atadero. Wilson is an alumna of Repertory since he was seven years old. Gawad Buhay awardee Borromeo was so charming up there, we knew she can sing very well that’s why fresh from The Secret Garden (Repertory), she got back again in this second offering for 2016.
Everett, who gave a flawless performance early this year in The Games Afoot, is back portraying multi-faceted roles. She was so good for a comedy. While Atadero who got good reviews in his last role in The Horse and His Boy last year, is convincingly a Prince making you fell in love at first sight in this play.
Almost Maine technical cast include John Batalla (lights). His northern lights version in this play was something magical. Stage design were Baby Imperial and Coco Anne that gave you the feeling of a moonless winter cold night on the set.
Playwright Cariani is an actor in some Broadway plays and was nominated for Tony Award for his performance as Motel the tailor at the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof way back 2004. He also appeared in some Hollywood series, like Law and Order as forensic expert Julian Beck. Almost Maine is his first written play.
For the remaining playdates, catch Almost Maine (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 P.M.), and with matinee shows at 3:30 P.M.