Quirky convenience store set in
Aroostook County has ‘Last Gas’

LEWISTON — The Public Theatre opens its season Oct. 14-23 with Maine playwright John Cariani’s most recent work, “Last Gas.”

Set in Aroostook County, “Last Gas” is the land of last chances — the last gas, last food and last phone for 41 miles before crossing over the border into Canada. It’s a small family-run convenience store — although there’s nothing conventional about this family.

On the eve of his 41st birthday, Nat Paradis’ old high school flame returns for her mother’s burial on the same day that Nat’s best friend shows up with the birthday gift of a lifetime: tickets to the Red Sox vs. Yankees game. Add in Nat’s father, Dwight, who likes his women young and Canadian, Nat’s son, Troy, and the local forest ranger, Cherry-Tracy, and you’ve got a cast of delightful characters putting their noses into Nat’s business.

The Public Theatre is proud to be the first production of the recently published script. Cariani will attend the performance and participate in the free post-show discussion with the audience on Sunday, Oct 16.

Cariani, who grew up in Presque Isle, is a Tony-nominated actor for his role in the 2004 Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and a lead in the recent Broadway hit “Something Rotten.” He’s a former cast member of NBC’s “Law and Order.” He’s the author of “Almost, Maine,” his first play.

The fully professional cast features Augustus Kelley as Nat, Kurt Zischke as Dwight, Brandon Tyler Harris as Troy, Mary Mossberg as Lurene, Ben Loving as Guy and Katharine McLeod as Cherry-Tracy.

The Public Theatre will continue its free pre-show wine-tasting in the lobby provided by Rails Restaurant before the Thursday, Oct 20, performance.

“Last Gas” will play Oct 14 to 23, Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Oct. 22.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for groups, $5 for 18 and younger.

For tickets, visit thepublictheatre.org or call 782-3200.

The Public Theatre is at 31 Maple St.

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