Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 16, 2014

'MAINE' ON STAGE

Second round of Civic Theatre shows set to open Friday.

By SCOTT WEISSER scott.weisser@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — BRISTOL

Will they or won’t they?

Northeasterners almost fall in or out of love in the romantic comedy “Almost, Maine.” The Elkhart Civic Theatre production has its second run of shows this weekend at the Bristol Opera House, 210 E. Vistula St.

Set in the fictional town of the title, “Almost, Maine” is a series of vignettes running six to 10 minutes each. According to director Kevin Egelsky, the play speaks of small-town values.

“That’s why the show pretty much got panned in New York off-Broadway,” Egelsky said. “It really didn’t have a very successful run. It’s not flashy. It’s not New York. It’s not a New York show.”

Nor does “Maine” have a too-romantic take on love, in Egelsky’s view.

“It not only deals with the happiness and the joy that accompanies love, but also some of the pain and some of the sadness that accompanies love,” he said. “And in some ways sadness and pain are some of the funniest things in life — sometimes you have to laugh at those things the hardest. Otherwise they become almost unbearable to deal with.”

The “Maine” cast is made up of veteran actors and new performers, according to Egelsky. Some of those thespians are actually making their stage debut with this show, aside from perhaps a high school production they did years ago. Cast members hail from South Bend, Elkhart, Goshen and Bristol.

“It’s a wide-ranging cast geographically and experience-wise,” Egelsky said.

It’s also a group the director has been pleased to watch onstage. The opening run of performances last weekend went well, according to Egelsky, and “Maine” is getting better.

“I’m very, very proud of the cast because every time they’ve performed the show, the show has more layers,” he said. “The characters are deeper. I’m very, very proud of the cast because they continue to allow their characters to evolve and to grow, even during the production.”

The “Almost, Maine” actors include Patrick Farran, Shirley Robey, Craig Kilgore, Julie Musser, April Sellers, Bob Franklin, Karen Johnston, Keith Sarber, Valerie Org, Zach Rivers, Angie Berkshire, Amy Pawlosky, Mike Honderich and Carley Dunn.

The stage crew includes Carl Wiesinger and Kaitrin Higbee. Higbee is also understudying the womens’ roles in the play. Assisting Egelsky is Ricky Fields.

If you want to go

“Almost, Maine” will be performed Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Bristol Opera House, 210 E. Vistula St., Bristol. Tickets cost $17 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens. For reservations, call 574-848-4116 Monday through Friday from 1 to 5:30 p.m., or reserve tickets online at www.elkhartcivictheatre.org.