John Cariani is an actor and a playwright from Presque Isle. His first play, “Almost, Maine,” which he describes as “a love letter to northern Maine,” premiered at Portland Stage in 2004 and opened off-Broadway in 2006. It has since become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States and has been translated into nearly 20 languages.
As an actor, he is best known for his “Law & Order” character, forensics tech Julian Beck, whom he played from 2002 to 2007 and frequently shows up in reruns. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” and played Itzik in “The Band’s Visit,” which won the Tony for best musical in 2018. Other plays he has written include “Cul-de-sac,” “Last Gas” and “Love/Sick.”
Fifteen years after the premiere of “Almost, Maine,” the play and Cariani will return to Portland Stage from Jan. 15 to Feb. 2 before he heads to Broadway for a revival of “Caroline, or Change.”