Wooly caps and long johns
There are lots of wooly caps and thermal long johns in this rose-tinted visit to the snowy hamlet known as Almost, Maine.
It’s located around the same northwoods latitude as Lake Wobegon: an ordinary (yet magical) place where people with humble jobs sip beer at a nightspot called The Moose Patty—where love is lost, and found.
Playwright John Cariani subtitles his sweet script A Romance, tracing a variety of relationships in comic terms. There are kisses, and kiss-offs, spread over nine loosely linked vignettes. Each is clever, and most are cute—a few overly so. There’s a little too much literal extension of spoken words into action (though some of the visual humor is enjoyable), and sentiment tends to dominate dramatic substance.
But none of this is likely to attract hot weather theater audiences, looking for a pleasant alternative to noisy cinematic blockbusters. This is a thoroughly pleasant, if not profound, cluster of thematically related scenes. And the cast of B Street regulars—rugged Jason Kuykendall (who always looks good in a flannel shirt), Elisabeth Nunziato, Peter Story, Amy Resnick and John Lamb—and director Buck Busfield put some heart in their work, transforming this somewhat predictable material into an easy-to-enjoy summer frosty.