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‘Something Rotten’ John Cariani Talks ‘Almost, Maine’ Beating Shakespeare

By James Knight J.knight@classicalite.com on Mar 19, 2016 08:41 AM EDT

John Cariani’s character Nigel Bottom in Something Rotten might be losing to Shakespeare eight times a week, but Cariani’s 1996 play Almost, Maine has actually beaten the Bard. Almost, Maine has officially been produced more in North American high school's than any of Shakespeare’s plays. Now the Bottom actor is opening up about topping Shakespeare.

Recently, John Cariani spoke to Playbill about how his taking Shakespeare to school, saying:

“It’s crazy! And kind of unimaginable. It’s a surreal and excellent life-imitating-art or art-imitating-life kind of thing. It’s funny, Horatio tells Hamlet, ‘There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ That’s how I describe the trajectory of Almost, Maine. I never imagined this to be its path. I was a kid when I wrote it, and it’s taken such a long time for it to catch on!”

Cariani went on to theorize about what makes Almost, Maine so successful, adding:

“Many people have told me it’s because when it opened Off-Broadway in 2006, the kind of humor that was in vogue was a bit snarky, ironic, self-aware. Maybe the world is a little more ready for open-hearted and earnest comedy now.”

What do you think about Almost, Maine beating out Shakespeare? Have you gotten the chance to see or perform in Almost, Maine? Let us know your thoughts on and experience with the show.

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TagsSomething Rotten, John Cariani, Almost Maine, Beating, Shakespeare

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