Dragon Theater Review: Repertory Philippines` Almost Maine

Almost Maine Poster

Hello Sweeties!

When was the last time you went to the theater? I remember taking Raffy out to watch a play at RCBC but that was years ago. Personally I really love watching a story unfold with live actors performing in front of me. The experience brings a different kind of dynamism compared to watching film or television.

I jumped at the chance to watch live theater again with my bebe girl, Raffy, who had the afternoon class off, yay!

Repertory Philippines` Almost Maine is their 2nd offering for its 79th Season( 2016). Dubbed as a romantic comedy set in a mythical town so far north, it almost does`t exist. Because its  residents never got around to getting organized. So it`s just Almost.

Imagine a woman carrying her broken heart in a paper bag, A couple keeps their love in large red bags or compressed to a size of a diamond! A couple having trouble communicating wait for the shoe to drop.

Almost residents fall in and out of love in the most unusual way.  Want to know more Read on!

Check out some of the still from my/our favorite scenes, or in Raffy`s opinion her favorite “ships” (fandom definition of relationship details here).

Almost Maine was the first and most popular play written by actor and playwright John Cariani, he refers to it as an”almost” love letter to northern Maine, it is also the most produced play in North American High Schools.

According to the play`s Director Bart Guingona,  he wanted the audience to have a different experience and also he wants to challenge the actors as well, Who would have thought of casting just 4 actors to play all 19 characters on stage?

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Ginette and Pete from the Prologue, they are the only two characters you see twice in the course of the story

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Gayle and Lendall from Act I: Getting it Back

Gayle: I want it Back!
Lendall: What?
Gayle: All the love I gave you, I want it back!

We can all relate to this. Our view of loving a person more than the other person loves us.And how under valued we feel.  I enjoyed how literally and physically the play showed Gayle and Lendall`s love. And how the number (of packages) or size (of the package) of the said love doesn`t matter only that it just is. A love that is valued more than the other person ever knew.

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. Phil and Marci from Act II: Where It Went

Phil: …you don`t know how to tell me how you feel, like about me, so I know where I am, where I stand! Maybe that is why I go away! So I can know where I am for one second! you know what its lonely there too, where I go and you sent me there. You went away long before I did.

This is the story that touched me the most. It happens a lot,  when life gets in the way of love. We forget the value of communicating and working on our relationship, until it is taken for granted, until we lost all courage to express our true selves, in the end lose to fear. So, say what you mean and mean what you say before the other shoe drops!

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Chad and Randy, From Act II:  They Fell

Chad: …But then I kinda came out being sad, I actually felt ok cause I realize there is one thing in this world that makes me feel good and does make sense and its you.

Raffy loved the pairing of Chad and Randy, not because it goes against the norm but because it shows that love is not about male and female but just about individuals finding sense and happiness with each other.  This is her favorite “ship” in Almost Maine.

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Actors: Natalie Everett, Reb Atedero, Caisa Borromeo, Jamie Wilson and Director Bart Guingona during the Q & A

Director Bart Guingona, decided to flip the general theme of the play and make it not about romance but about loneliness and how people overcome it. I have to admit, watching the play the subject matter focusing on loneliness makes it more intriguing because the stories are cliché and literal.  I mean a broken heart is a literal heart-broken in pieces and carried around! Falling in love means actually falling on the floor! But Director Guingona selected veteran actors to play the parts so well the stories hit the right spots our heart.  Ah such satisfying “Feels”!

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Such a wonderful experience I also got to take a photo with former Prime Minister Cesar Virata a regular at the theater. Raffy with Caisa Borromeo and one half of her favorite ship Reb Atadero (who plays Randy) in They Fell

Raffy and I were very curious about the execution, how will they pull of or even get the characters straight as one scene ends and another begins?

They did it beautifully. More than the costume changes, we as the audience experience a change in the actor`s demeanor, their stance and the way they say their lines making each and every character distinct from the previous one they played. Kudos to the veteran actors!

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Raffy with her happy smile after the play

Almost Maine captures your imagination as well as your hearts.

Almost Maine is a series of loosely connected stories about love, loneliness, enlightening sincere yet humorous vignette that gave me and my daughter Raffy the warm heart fluttering feeling.

After watching Almost Maine, I now regret not taking timeout to take Raffy to the theater as often.   Raffy  kept talking about her  feeling, the characters and the stories (up to now).

Although, we live waaaay in Antipolo and she had a class the following day, she says it was worth watching and she would like to see Almost Maine again. (lol).  It became another way for me and my daughter to bond and communicate and learn about each other. Winner!

Don`t take my word for it experience Almost Maine yourself. Tickets are available at www.ticketworld,com.ph.

Fall in love, laugh and feel this season of love. Catch Repertory Philippines Almost Maine from February 19th to March 13th at Greenbelt One On Stage.

Thank you Mommy Bloggers Philippines and Repertory Philippines for giving Raffy and I and unforgettable experience.

Until next time!

Muah!

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