The Wilcox Stage Company (WSC) took audiences on a charming tale of love and loss in its fall dramatic production of Almost, Maine Nov. 17-18 at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts.
From the former lovebirds who find each other at the local watering hole (“Sad and Glad”) to the woman camping out on someone’s lawn to say a final farewell to her deceased husband (“Her Heart”); and the couples at a relationship crossroads (“Getting it Back” and “Where it Went”) to the unlikely pair who find their true selves and true love (“They Fell”)—WSC’s Almost, Maine was quirky, entertaining and full of heart.
Written by John Carani, Almost, Maine is really nine separate stories of a small, fictional town in northeastern Maine’s middle of nowhere. (As the character East says, “You’re in an unorganized territory. Township Thirteen. Range Seven. It’s not gonna be on your map cause it’s not an actual town, technically.”) Although billed as Wilcox’s fall drama, the play is truly a romantic comedy, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as the whimsical characters explore common feelings of affection and rejection. Each scene within Almost, Maine tackles a separate problem pertaining to matters of the heart, and the characters are all connected—as real life people in tiny towns are—with characters’ names often mentioned in scenes they aren’t actually in.
Wilcox’s production utilized students in multiple roles, with senior Jon Moorwood acting in four scenes, junior Jarryd Castro in three scenes, sophomore Syl Cole in three and sophomore Jessica O’Gorman in two. Other students took two completely different roles, performing on stage and taking on tasks behind the curtain. Sophomore Maya Raman served as director, but could be seen playing the main female character in the play’s final scene. Senior Monica Janusz acted in one scene and was the production’s stage manager, while her sister, sophomore Emily Janusz, was the play’s lighting director and stepped on stage for one story.
While moments in some scenes bordered absurd, there was something magnetic and real about the characters and scenarios, including the “surprise” ending. It’s hard to fall in love, it’s hard to fall out of love, but Wilcox’s Almost, Maine was a reminder that going through the pain of each is almost always worth it in the end.
WSC will prepare for its spring musical, another romantic comedy and a fun-filled trip back to the 1950s. Grease is currently scheduled to run May 18 and 19 at MCCPA, 3250 Monroe St., Santa Clara. Additional information, including upcoming fundraisers, will be posted on the Wilcox High School website, https://wilcox.schoolloop.com/theater, as well as the WSC webpage, http://wilcoxstage.weebly.com, once available.