GOLD FROM STRAW THEATRE COMPANY NEWS RELEASETacoma's newest theater company winning positive reviews after move to larger venue
TACOMA -- On a frosty night in a not-quite-town, couples fall under the spell of celestial enchantment and the unpredictable power of love. Gold From Straw Theatre Company's feel-good comedy, "Almost, Maine," charms audiences every weekend this November at Tacoma's Theatre on the Square.
"Playing John Cariani's deceptively simple lines with sincere relish, the cast of six blends well," wrote a News Tribune reviewer. "Like a series of comic strips, the vignettes flash through moments of time, dropping some funny one-liners and 'aw-shucks' scenes on the way. ... By the Hallmark snowy ending, GFS puts its tongue firmly in cheek in the nicest of ways, and even the most jaded will walk out feeling a little lighter."
Combining director Aaron Schmookler's vision of what critics describe as "deft physical comedy" with Cariani's "unapologetically romantic fable," the play is a hilarious, heartfelt reminder of what it means to be human.
Gold From Straw burst onto the Tacoma theater scene last spring with an acclaimed production of John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt," staged at the historic Mecca. When the building changed hands, Gold From Straw decided to up its game and launch "Almost, Maine" in a larger, swankier setting -- the 300-seat Theatre on the Square at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
"Bringing 'Almost, Maine' to Theatre on the Square means we're able to offer audiences a richer experience – from a more elaborate set to more sophisticated lighting and sound – while still maintaining a feeling of intimacy," Schmookler said. "A move of this magnitude requires a significant financial investment but allows us to offer more patrons a memorable evening of professional theater for a good value."
Schmookler and assistant director Julie Weinberger pulled together a cohesive ensemble of Puget Sound actors: Kristin Alexander, Lori Evans, Martyn G. Krouse, Rachel Lionheart and Alexander Smith. Schmookler also steps into three roles, after a cast member had to pull out of performances for health reasons.
"Almost, Maine" also draws its success from the talents of scenic designer Dane Goulet, lighting designer Ricki McKissock, sound designer Kristie Dustra, costume designer Danielle Simbeck and production stage manager Viriginia Stone. Allan Loucks composed an original score for Gold From Straw's production.
PRESS QUOTES FROM OTHER PRODUCTIONS OF "ALMOST, MAINE"
“Sweet, poignant, and witty. Nearly perfect.”
- The New York Daily News
“ALMOST, MAINE is about love: sometimes lost, sometimes found but never neatly tied in a bow."
- The Kearney (NE) Hub
“An unapologetically romantic fable. These tales of stoical Mainers falling in and out of love has just enough bitter to cut the sweet, and enough charm to at least partially thaw any cold hearts in the audience. Contains one of the best visual puns ever.”
- The Arizona Republic
What: “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani
Who: Gold from Straw Theater Company
When: 8 p.m. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27; 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 27
Where: Theatre on the Square, 915 Broadway, Tacoma
Broadway Center Box Office: 1-800-291-7593
Gold From Straw Theatre Company: 253-301-8004