A winter journey through “Almost, Maine”‏

A scene from "Almost Maine." (Photo by Brad Leuchte)

The Hilltop Players performed their fourth show of the semester, “Almost, Maine,” written by playwright John Cariani and directed by FSU professor Sarah Cole. The play consisted of eight unconnected scenes filled with heartbreak, unresolved love and a little bit of both.

The small cast consisted of Connor Bowen, Tyler Demoura, Joseph Duda, Emma Fitzpatrick, Anthony Gabrielle, Bobby Murphy, Hannah Nielsen, Jessa Pereira, Tiffany Santiago and Mike Terra.

Sitting on a bench on a moonlit winter’s night, Pete, played by Bowen, and Ginette, played by Pereira, shared an awkward romantic exchange, one displaying her love more brightly and the other not knowing how to. He explained that, due to the Earth’s circular shape, to be “close” to someone is actually to get as far away from them as possible. Confused and hurt, Ginette left.

In the next scene, Glory, played by Fitzpatrick, wandered into the yard of East, played by Duda. The two shared a conversation about a literal broken heart. After being left by her husband, Glory had to get an artificial heart to replace the one that had been broken. Her husband had died in an accident after being rejected by her new heart.

Glory was in pain and East fixed her broken heart.

As the show progressed the scenes become deeper and a bit more literal.

One memorable scene involved Pereira and Terra. Pereira’s character wanted her love back because she feared the relationship would not go any further. She delivered eight bags of love that Terra’s character had given her over a long period of time.

Terra’s character obliged and gave her back a small bag that he claimed was all the love she had given him over the years. Shocked by this, she argued more and, sadden by the situation, he left.

The twist is that he had converted all her love into an engagement ring and was met with awws from the audience.

This play left room for speculation because most of the scenes had ambiguous endings.  It raised the question, “Did they or didn’t they?”

After intermission, the first scene to open was two lovers sitting on the bench under the moon. This time he was sitting by himself looking at where she had walked away.

Another scene that had literal meaning involved Bobby Murphy and Anthony Gabrielle. These two guy friends talked about their failed relationships.

Murphy’s character brought up the point that he felt more comfortable around Gabrielle than with girls. He felt like more than a friend to him.

Gabrielle’s responded with angry that his friend would ruin their platonic relationship. Murphy’s character started falling, claiming he can’t help but fall in love with him.

Gabrielle’s character started falling also indicating that he felt the same way.

The saddest scene in “Almost Maine,” involved an unnamed man, played by Bowen in his second role in the play, and Hope played by Hannah Nielsen. The story was about a girl who came back to town to reclaim the love she never accepted or denied, but simply left hanging.

As she was telling a stranger her woes, she realized in the end the stranger was her past love who had found someone else.

The last scene involved Bowen and Pereira, again sitting on the bench. Bowen’s character was still looking at the direction in which she left.

She appeared on the other side of the stage and finally reunited with him.

The play was well received by the audience.

Student Gina Iacoviello said, “I really enjoyed it, I’ve seen it before I just love how it’s so cute and all the scenes are so great.”

Another student, James Buonopane said, “It was great. It was hilarious.” He added,

“Some of the scenes were fantastic to watch”

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