The James Downing Theatre on Chicago's Northwest Side presents, the heartwarming romance, THE RAINMAKER, by N. Richard Nash. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 1:30pm, April 30th thru May 15th, 2011. The house opens one half hour before showtime.
All performances are held at The John Waldron Arts Center housed at Edison Park United Methodist Church, 6740 North Oliphant Avenue, Chicago, IL 60631. Free parking is available in a lot located behind the church.
H.C. Curry's farm is starved for water and his only daughter, Lizzie, is starved for love. Then, charming and handsome Bill Starbuck rolls into town... promising to make it rain! It's a dubious claim and Liz is not easily swayed, but Starbuck is an infectious dreamer. Can he spin his magic, win over this dream-challenged family and inspire hope, even when there is nary a cloud in the sky? Come see this classic romance set in America's heartland and you may witness a true miracle!
Nash, a one-time professional boxer who later taught at Princeton and Yale, has written for theater, television and film, and produced works of fiction and poetry. THE RAINMAKER, his most widely known work, has been translated into nearly 40 languages, including one African tongue which has no written form. The play's original run was in 1954 with Geraldine Page and Darren McGavin. It was made into a movie in 1956 with Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster, and later adapted as the musical 110 IN THE SHADE.
Five years after THE RAINMAKER had become an international hit, Nash wrote, "I tried to tell a simple story about droughts that happen to people, and about faith. I tried to say that belief in a forked stick is sweet in an eight-year-old but a grownup has to find his magic in the rites of daily living. I tried to protest that the dreamers who are fugitive from the world have too long pretended that they alone know what is beautiful; that there's beauty for those who stick around and have a good look at things. That there is beauty in reality, beauty in the balances of nature, no matter how brutal the imbalances; beauty in the togetherness of people which, sadly, must sometimes be measured by loneliness; beauty in seeing the fact and naming it the fact."
Directed by Floyd A. May, the play features Chicago actors Michael Rashid as Starbuck and Liz Hoffman as Lizzie. Shannon Parr, from Oak Park, is the Sheriff's deputy, File, and David Kravitz, of River Forest, plays H.C. Curry. The Curry brothers are played by Chicago actors Michael Mejia (Noah) and Micah Fortenberry (Jim). Wally Cwik, of Park Ridge, rounds out this talented cast as Sheriff Thomas.
Lighting and sound design is by Adam Williams. The set was co-designed by Floyd A. May and Joshua Dlouhy. Costumes and props are designed by Floyd A. May. Brian Jakosz is the Assistant Director and Mary Hodur is Stage Manager. The show is produced by Joshua Dlouhy.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and students. A Group Rate of $13 per ticket is available for reserved groups of 10 or more.
A Theatre Industy Rate of $5 per person is available on Fridays to those who bring their Theatre Industry Resume (and Headshot, if an actor or actress) with them to the performance and hand it to the box office when purchasing tickets with cash or check.
Seating is limited, so reservations are strongly suggested.
THE RAINMAKER is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. (http://www.samuelfrench.com)
The James Downing Theatre is a sponsored program of the Edison Park United Methodist Church.
The John Waldron Arts Center
6740 N Oliphant Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
|Minimum Age: 5|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|