Press-Republican

Out & About

March 27, 2014

Pedal power meets poignancy at Centaur Theatre

"4000 Miles" continues through April 20 in Montreal

MONTREAL — Here’s a journey that spans the country — and the ages.

The Centaur Theatre presents “4000 Miles,” a dramatic comedy written by Amy Herzog and directed by Roy Surette, Centaur’s artistic director.

The work, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013, tells the tale of Leo, a young man who after a cross-country bicycle trip, shows up at the Greenwich Village doorstep of his left-wing 91-year-old grandmother.

‘WALKS THE WALK’

Vancouver actor Nathan Barrett plays Leo.

“I really admire the guy,” Barrett said of his character. “He really walks the walk.”

For example, Barrett says Leo is a very eco-friendly type of guy.

“Leo is aware of things like his carbon footprint,” Barrett said. “He strictly rides his bicycle from A to B, city to city.”

Barrett shares a few things in common with the character he plays. While Leo cycled cross country, Barrett took to the two-wheeled road and once completed a bike ride from New York to New Orleans.

Besides sharing a love for cycling, the eco-activism trait also appealed to Barrett when reading the script.

“I’m an activist myself,” Barrett said. “I like to think that I’m doing something positive.”

Barrett sounds a bit sheepish when he admits how he got to Montreal for the play.

“I did fly from Vancouver,” he admits. “And that’s something that Leo would never do. Leo is totally utterly dedicated to his cause.”

‘HIT RESET’

During the course of Leo’s trip, he suffers a devastating incident.

“We have people in our lives who are our pillars,” Barrett said. “And Leo loses one of those pillars.”

Barrett says these are the people who unquestionably inspire us.

“And when you lose one of them, you have to hit reset,” Barrett said. “You have to see things through a new lens.”

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