Center Stage North
through October 14, 2017
In 1955 John Grisham’s book, The Rainmaker, was made to a film with Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. It had been presented onstage the year before and drew loads of attention.
And it was adapted to film again in 1997 and continues to engage audiences to this day. It’s a story about a family of farmers in the West during the days of the Great Depression. It hadn’t rained in months, the cattle were dying off, and things were pretty tight.
The play is about the Curry family headed up by the father known as HC (Jerry Jobe) but to a great extent managed by the older son, Noah (Ian Gibson). Noah is a very straight forward guy who never holds back a thought, even if everyone else may feel differently. The younger brother, Jim (Nate Gutoski) is looking to find a soul mate, even if it were only for a few nights, and he takes of load of “stuff” from Noah.
But the sister, Lizzie (LeeAnna Lambert Sweatt) is the only female in the family. She is self-deprecating in many ways, and has no male friend with benefits. She sort of sees herself as some old maid who shall always be alone. But, Jim has eyes for some gal and Lizzie might just have it in for the Sheriff’s Deputy File (Freddy Lynn Wilson) but neither really knows how to get things in motion.
It is into this dried out family that a con artist going by the name, Starbuck (Clay Johnson) shows up to sell himself to these losers as one who can cause the heavens to produce the rain they need. They all know he is a phoney, but things being as they were, HC decides to go for the deal to front $100 to this guy. He knows it’s a gamble, but feels he has no other plan.
Things get a bit dodgy when the Sheriff (James Conner) puts together that the rainmaker, Starbuck, is really some scoundrel that is on the most wanted lists in the area and he has to bring him down. As the story goes on, both Jim and Lizzie find their loves and most things come right in the end.
Directed by Julie Taliaferro, this is a highly energetic production for this small all-volunteer theatre company. And to have this cool set, and handle all the lines for a production which runs only for 6 nights, is truly incredible. The theatre is at the Mountain View Arts Alliance in Marietta and more info and directions are found at CenterStageNorth.com