Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Rainmaker"

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note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark

"The Rainmaker"

by N. Richard Nash
Directed by Christopher Webb

Set Design by Jenna McFarland Lord
Costume Design by Kristen Mahan
Lighting Design by Matt Guminski
Sound Design by Ed Thurber
Prop Design by Lisa Wondolowski
Stage Manager Steven Espach

Sheriff......Jens Henrichsen
Starbuck.....Gabriel Kuttner
Jimmy..........Jonathan Popp
H.C. ............Barry Press
Noah...............Dan Roach
File......Dennis Trainor Jr.
Lizzie..........Jessica Webb

This romantic comedy is full of metaphor. The drought that threatens cattle outside Jenna McFarland Lord's one-room ranch kitchen affects H.C. (Barry Press), his two sons (Jonathan Popp & Dan Roach) but also their sister Lizzie --- a woman passing marriage-age in a tiny western town with a forthright, independent disposition and a less-than-pretty face. She is a budding feminist in a man's world yearning to be ordinary, and Jessica Web finds every note in her complicated personality. The men of her house --- and even the local sheriff (Jens Henrichsen) --- think of deputy-sheriff File as a match for her, but Dennis Trainor Jr. is well aware that he is a twice-shy divorced man reluctant to commit himself. And into this social stalemate walks Gabriel Kuttner as a proudly boastful rain-maker --- or is he just a blowhard con-man?

Christopher Webb has directed this romance with a light, slightly unrealistic touch. People confront one another standing a little closer than reality would suggest; they wrestle physically with their reservations before saying things; there are smiles of anticipation on people's faces as they expect things to happen. But even in outspoken conflicts, these are warmly created people who respect or even love one another, even a charlatan or a fool can do the right thing, and things work out right in the end.

I mentioned this is a comedy, didn't I?


"The Rainmaker" (7 February - 4 March)
100 Front Street, WORCESTER MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide