Clague Playhouse production an 'actor's adventure'

"Almost, Maine" character actors Don Knepper, Lynna Metrisin and Matthew Klaben.

Westlake’s Clague Playhouse production of the award-winning play "Almost, Maine" by John Cariani and directed by Rose Leininger is a smashing success. This five actor and nineteen character production runs through Saturday, March 30, starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday at Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Rd.

In addition, this unique production for mature audiences has at least nine one-act plays bubbling across the stage – all about love. Director Rose Leininger shares, “'Almost, Maine' offers us a chance to look at the complexities of love from many different perspectives.” The degree and type of relationships formed, broken and lost provides for a fascinating evening of comedy and universality.

"Almost, Maine" was honored as one of the best regional theater productions of the 2004-2005 Season by The Wall Street Journal and the American National Theater.

The play is called an actor’s adventure because facial expression and body actions are so important. Once one realizes that this romantic comedy is a series of distinctive romance stories, one is content to celebrate and experience the different facets of love. So many highlights of great acting appear that it is hard to select one episode as best. For all students and adults planning a career or avocation in the theater, viewing this production is essential to see the challenges of acting from using only facial expression to falls that have great meaning.

The superior, wonderful and unforgettable actors include marvelous Matthew Klaben as Pete and Steve; dynamic Don Knepper as Lendall, Randy and Man; kaleidoscopic Keith Kornajcik as East, Jimmy, Chad, Phil and Dave; laudable Lynna Metrisin as Glory, Waitress, Gale, Marci and Hope; and keen Kate Mussey as Ginette, Sandrine, Marvalyn and Rhonda.

The sets are fascinatingly brilliant, from the cyclic wintry sky-like floor to the inviting house fronts, created by set director Ron Newell and his set construction crew of Becky Beil, Lyn Daberkow, Len Haas, Earl Hamilton, Donna Hughes, Bill Nordgren and Richard Walz. Sound designer Dale Hruska with light/sound manager Al Archambault and light/sound technician Mary Kahelin present the "Almost, Maine" nature sounds in a joyous cacophony of celebration.

Lighting designer Lance Switzer achieves success at highlighting each episode's strengths. Resident costume designer for the Lorain Palace Youth Theater since 2007, D. Justin Bilewicz III is the production's cool costume designer, along with costume shop manager Candace Lipton and costume staff of Mary Lou Meyers and Marillyn Hamilton.

Additional outstanding production staff includes production manager Sharon Dane; assistant to the director/stage manager Richard Lynch; bookholder Margy Haas; prop shop manager Gig Giauque; props procurement crew Sharon Dane, Gig Giauque, Margy Haas and Donna Nordgren; props manager Janet Kuss; run crew Ellyn Kilpatrick, Janet Kuss and Richie Lynch; program and publicity Pam Kilpatrick. Further support was provided by audition secretaries “Al” Archambault and Karen Biddulph-Hazey, photography by Jim Ely, and usher Toni Becker.

Clague Playhouse lobby gallery artist for "Almost, Maine" is watercolorist Joleen Arthur. Joleen’s passion for art fostered in her Detroit, Mich., childhood and enhanced by her professional training provides her with exciting and captivating views. Her fervor and zeal for watercolors and art education are known locally and nationally. Joleen loves the fluid transparency of watercolor along with the ability to mingle colors on the paper to create subtle changes in hue as well as glazing and building values and form. Feel free to stop by and view this wonderful exhibit of landscapes, florals and nature during box office hours: Wednesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased during box office hours by calling 440-331-0403. Ticket prices are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors (60+) and students, and for this season a special $10 Saturday rate for students with an ID. Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted. A 50/50 raffle is being held at each performance with a drawing during the intermission to raise the additional $749 needed for Clague Playhouse’s electronic street sign.


Mary Levtzow

Writer, Hunger volunteer, church volunteer, Clague Playhouse supporter, Child of God, educator, and caring citizen that wants to share important programs to highlight community efforts.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.19.2013