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Almost, Maine Charms the Audience at the Greek Cultural Center

The National Herald

A scene from Almost, Maine, at the Greek Cultural Center in Astoria. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

ASTORIA – Almost, Maine by John Cariani, presented by T.E.A.M. Theatre and the Greek Cultural Center (GCC) in Astoria, charmed the audience with romantic comedy set in a remote and unorganized town in Maine.

Through 11 short scenes, various characters explore themes related to relationships, love and loss with wit and poignancy. The large cast, 14 total, some playing multiple roles, performed with skill and solid comic timing under the fine direction of Gwendolyn Snow.

Among the international cast, Anastasia Argyrou of Cyprus gave a subtle performance in her GCC debut while Greek actress Chrysi Sylaidi demonstrated an impressive talent for physical comedy in her scene with Kenneth Shook.

Dorothea Gloria also gave a funny and emotionally moving performance in her scene with Russell Legaspi who also appeared with Melina Moghadassian in the opening and closing scenes of the play.

The National Herald

A scene from Almost, Maine, with actors Russell Legaspi and Dorothea Gloria, at the Greek Cultural Center in Astoria. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

The characters and their individual trials and tribulations form an enchanting overall effect, though not all the vignettes have happy endings. Touches of magical realism here and there added to the play’s charm and appeal. The T.E.A.M. Theatre production ran December 6-15 and left audiences eager for the company’s next show.

Almost, Maine premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 and went on to break box office records. The critically-acclaimed play was the most produced full-length play in North American high schools 2009-2010, 2011-2012, and in 2017-2018, according to Playbill.com.

According to the play’s official website, “To date, Almost, Maine has been produced by nearly 5000 theater companies in the United States (and by nearly a hundred companies internationally) making it one of the most frequently produced plays of the past decade.”

Playwright John Cariani is also an actor who has appeared on and Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in several films and television shows. Nominated for a Tony Award, Cariani has also appeared in films with Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Ed Asner. He is perhaps best known for his role as Forensics Tech Beck on Law & Order from 2002-2007.