By Mike Cook
Director Brandon Brown has an all-star cast and crew for the upcoming Las Cruces Community Theater (LCCT) production of “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani.
The play opens Friday, October 8 and runs for three weekends at the LCCT, 313 N. Main St. The cast includes Nora Brown, McKensie Alexis Cabot, Rhiannon Michelle Hardin and Melis Derya White.
Brandon Brown directs the play following his performance as Elwood P. Dowd in LCCT’s production of “Harvey,” which wrapped up a successful three-week run in September and marked the theater’s return to live performance after an 18-month hiatus induced by the pandemic.
The “Almost, Maine” team includes assistant director and stage manager Cindy Pitts, playwright Erica James, stage drop instructor Darin Robert Cabot, lighting designer Bekah Taulbee and property manager Lennie Brown, assisted by cast members. Heidi Brown is part of the backstage team. The editing team consists of McKensie Alexis Cabot, Greta Burger, Larry Fisher, Marc Forbes, Doug Roby, Alecks Rundell and Alice Carron. Music and photos by Mike Wise. The costumes are by Yamilex Holpe and the actors.
“Almost, Maine” is “actually nine short plays set in the fictional ‘unorganized territory’ of Almost, Maine,” said Brandon Brown. “They’re basically about love and relationships.”
“This is a show that shines a light on LOVE – long love, lost love, possible love,” said Pitts, who has starred in numerous LCCT productions. “Watching these talented actors go through these emotions and thinking about the audience’s reaction is my favorite part of this process. A roller coaster of emotions is to be expected and I hope audiences will buy a ticket, buckle up and hang on. for a great show!”
“It was exhilarating to get back to rehearsals for the live, in-person theater,” said cast member Nora Brown. “And ‘Almost, Maine’ gives us interesting, meaty characters to find and cultivate. I enjoy every aspect of it.
“In total, almost 700 people came to see the show,” said “Harvey” director Gail Wheeler. “Masks were worn backstage when actors were in close contact. I had no complaints from the actors… Everyone was vaccinated, no one got sick.
“We only had a few unvaccinated people who were bugged about not being able to see ‘Harvey,’ but overall it was only having the vaccinated people present that really helped those in attendance feel more protected,” said LCCT Board Chair Janet Beatty-Payne. “All customers were very compliant about wearing masks and no one complained at all. While I was there to run the house over opening weekend, many customers expressed how grateful they were that we were only asking for vaccinated customers at this time. We are happy to report that no cast members, crew members or patrons were exposed to Covid while participating and enjoying “Harvey”.
“Almost, Maine” will have performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23; and performances at 2 p.m. on Sundays, October 10, 17 and 24.
Tickets are $17 for adults; $14 for seniors, students, and military; and $10 for children.
Call 575-523-1200. To visit www.lcctnm.org.