The song-and-dance show about small-town gas station attendants and waitresses is back by popular demand at
"The most important thing for me is that this show feels like when you meet those small-town folk and they sit you down and tell you their life story," Swasey said. "It's very casual and relatable. I want to make a connection between performers on stage and audience so it doesn't feel like they're sitting down to a concert. It's passing the time with them through stories."
The setup is just as simple. The men who work at the garage and the sisters who run the diner next door take audiences on a musical ride. But unlike many musicals, the actors themselves provide all the accompaniment, singing and playing the instruments themselves as the simultaneous lead characters and house band.
"My dad played guitar, Mom played the bass guitar, brothers played guitars and drums. I grew up playing country music and loved singing," Volpe said. "So this show is like that, with everyone playing and all country music. For me, it's really like where I came from as a kid, where going to the diner for the week was a huge deal. Your friends and family were all there and everyone knew the mechanic."
Castmate Ben Williams, who plays gas station owner Jim, has his own personal connection with the show. Growing up in
"To come back to it now and be playing Jim, who helps navigate the play and evening, is a funny circling back," said the
Returning Sierra Rep actress
"I think the big reason it's popular is it's a positive show," she said. "Everyone loves the music, and it makes people feel good."
Bee staff writer
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