The theatre department at UMBC is quite impressive; producing a high quality show every semester, along with smaller events throughout the year. Most recently the department performed “Almost, Maine.”
Usually the plays are held in the old theater by the tennis courts, but this show was hosted in the Dance Tech Studio of the Performing Arts and Humanities building, making it even better. “Almost, Maine” is a compilation of Romantic Comedies all taking place in the same night; or as the flyer described “Almost, Maine – a play about love in a small community.”
This play was adorable and hilarious all at the same time. The performance was a compilation of short romantic comedies between characters of all backgrounds and stories. The play was originally created by John Cariani; however the students at UMBC put their own spin to it.
What made the performance even better was that it was a musical and songs would pop up at the most unexpected times! The performers were extremely talented and stayed true to their roles, making the show even more engaging.
Because the play was broken into smaller skits, it was reminiscent of the 2004 Christmas movie, Love Actually; which follows the love stories of multiple couples across London during Christmas time.
Out of the nine skits, the highlight had to be the “Sad and Glad” segment. With such an unexpected ending, it stood out among the others. The skit opens with a heartbroken Jimmy, drinking alone in a bar when he sees his ex, who he’s still not over.
They start talking and Sandrine, (his ex), asks him about his tattoo. All this is happening as this waitress is going back and forth with drinks. Jimmy explains that the tattoo was meant to say “villain,” to warn future girls about him. However the parlor misspelled it as “villian.” After Sandrine leaves, Jimmy finds out that the waitress’s name was Villian … and the scene ends there.
Certain parts of the play were very cute and whimsical, making the whole thing more enjoyable. The first skit started off with a women carrying around a bag. When asked what it was, she replied that she was carrying around the broken pieces of her heart.
In another skit, a girl storms into her ex’s house and demands for all the love she gave him back. She brings him small bags that are supposed to be filled with all the “love” he gave her. Those scenes are what made the play. The whole studio was filled with gasps, laughter and “oohs and aahs” throughout her entire performance.
The play was around two hours long, but it certainly didn’t feel that way. It is clear that much time and effort went into creating the cast, the props, practice and finally putting on the show for the two hours of entertainment we had witnessed. It is easy to say that this was one of the best performances put on by the department to date.