1st Stage Almost, MaineBy Mark Lee Adams • Feb 9th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
1st Stage, Tyson’s Corner, VA
Through February 25th
2:00 with one intermission
Reviewed February 4th, 2012
Almost, Maine storms its way onto 1st Stage in Tysons.
This work is not part of the mainstream consciousness of our theatre world, but this production has exploded into the Metro area with a fabulous production. Michael Chamberlin directs his cast as a fine artist would draw or paint a masterpiece. His cast is directed as mere colors off his pallet as his show lays down the foundation. Then he has his actors brush in shades of all the nuances of love with all the vibrancy or subtleness he wishes. A truly excellent work is Almost, Maine. I recommend this play to all.
Steven Royal designed an intimate set. I loved it! Steven and Michael created an acting area small and intimate, allowing the audience to seemingly be a part of the play. A very nice use of snow was used here as well. The costumes, by Levonne Lindsay were perfect for each of the characters and the actors quick changes worked very well. I had no issues with who the characters were. Lighting was designed by Brian S. Allard. Brian created some bright and darker moments and moods with his lighting. The Northern Lights were very, very well done.
Performing in Mr. Chamberlin’s masterpiece are: Jessica Shearer, Elliott Kashner, Jonathan Lee Taylor and Megan Dominy. I would like to state that it’s hard to point out any one of this cast as being the lead or supporting. This is truly a play with four leads, four supporting cast members and four featured actors. No cameos though. These groups of four are truly gifted craftsmen and craftswomen in the art of performance. I found myself totally in their control as they quickly developed each of their characters and I could see the enjoyment they were having playing them. I thank you all for your hard work and personally would love to work with you at some time in the future.
Having given all these accolades, I would like to say I wouldn’t turn my back on someone who just told me she killed her husband. Nor would I leave out the excitement of coming back to the person I should never have left. Maybe I’d make sure the audience knew whether I fell down on purpose or if it truly was falling “in love” and it was a surprise to me as well. Also, I might explore the escalation of anger in the breakup on ice as well, but not too much.
Almost, Maine is a true delightful story. Performed and directed with love, talent and with a complete sense of theatre in the round. I was so very entertained. Thank you 1st Stage of Tysons for selecting this play. I also love the chocolate raisins at intermission!
The show runs about 2 hours, but you’ll want to go on and on.
Photos by Deb Crerie
- Ginette, Sandrine, Marvalyn, Phil, Hope: Jessica Shearer
- Pete, Jimmy, Lendall, Chad, The Man: Elliott Kashner
- Easton, Steve, Randy, Dave: Jonathan Lee Taylor
- Glory, Waitress, Gayle, Marci, Rhonda: Megan Dominy
- Director: Michael Chamberlain
- Setting: Steve Royal
- Costumes: Levonne Lindsay
- Lighting: Brian S. Allard
- Sound Design: Derek Knoderer
- Stage Manager: Keta Newborn
- Props: Debra Crerie, Kay Rzasa
- Assistant Director: Emily Ann Jablonski
- Fight Choreography/Movement Coach: Monalisa Arias
- Program: Marty McGran, Lynne Silverstein
Disclaimer: 1st Stage provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7633.
Mark Lee Adams has been involved in theatre for over 40 years in the local Washington DC Metro area as well as NYC and London England. Mark has performed at the Dramatist Guild Theatre on Broadway, at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre Off-Broadway. His credits include work in many local theatres as well: The Folger Theatre Group, Arena Stage, New Playwrights Theatre, 7th Street Players, The Keegan Theatre, The American Century Theatre, The Journeyman Theatre, ASTA Theatre, The Hayloft Dinner Theatre (Associate Producer), The Lazy Susan Theatre, Discovery Channels, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (Frankenstein) with Donald Sutherland. London, England credits include work at: The Duke of York Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Questors Theatre, The British Embassy Players. Mark is a graduate of The Drama Studio, London, England. Mark is also a narrator of audio books for Gildan Audio: “True North”, by Bill George; “Never Give Up”, by Tedy Bruschi and “Five Minds for the Future”, by Howard Gardner among them. Mark currently teaches Advanced Acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria and still performs locally in many theatres.