Monday December 11th 2017

“The Rainmaker”

Highly Recommended****Once in awhile, we get to witness a theater company make the ultimate in sacrifice as they give up financial gain for true art. Such is the case with the current production by BoHo theatre Company, “The Rainmaker” by N.Richard Nash. This is indeed a classic story of faith and hope as well as dreams and BoHo has taken a 99 seat venue in the Theatre Wt building on Belmont and with their clever set  (Stephen M. Genovese, who is also the director of this marvelous production) and reduced to an even More intimate three sided seating arrangement of approx. 56 seats. It is evident that this theater company prefers to tell the story in a manner that audiences will relate better to over selling more tickets and for this I applaud them. This is the ultimate sacrifice in bringing art to the public.

For those of you unaware of the story behind “The Rainmaker”, we are in a major drought in the “dustbowl” of our country, when a flim-flam man shows up at the ranch of the Curry family and tells them that he can save their cattle by bringing in the rain for only a $100. All he needs is 24 hours to produce. Meanwhile, this family has other problems to be dealt with. H.C., the father ( a powerful performance by Robert Frankel) is a widower with three children. Jim, the youngest (Nate Santana who brings a realistic character to the stage), eldest son, Noah ( deftly handled by Daniel Gilbert) who runs the ranch and daughter Lizzie ( Anna Hammonds in a perfect study of the plain, lonely woman living in a male dominated world) who they all want to find a husband for.

They have chosen the local deputy File ( Thad Anzur) to be the one to court her, but when Starbuck ( an enchantingly powerful Matthew Keffer) comes into their lives, all that was changes for the Curry family and as we watch the charming flim-flam man do his thing, we also start to feel that what he has to sell is real. That we all have dreams and that the rain he is to bring is not the only dream they need. This story is the story of hope and dreams coming true despite what other believe. Act One is about 90 minutes and the second act only a bit over a half hour. Nash uses all of the first act to set up the problems of the family and the deputy so that when Starbuck arrives, we know that each of the characters has a need that he can fulfil. What we find in this brilliant production is the power of one man over an entire family and how all is not always as it appears and that the power of the mind can make a difference in the life of each of us. Rounding out the cast is Russell Alan Rowe as the Sheriff, who is after the con man as well as trying to make his deputy’s life a little better. There are man relationships in this classic story that we watch change during the course of the play- each one , special and intense.

“The Rainmaker” will continue at Theater Wit located at 1229 West Belmont through May 6th with performances as follows:

Thursdays,Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $20-$25, a true bargain for theater of this quality and can be purchased by calling the box office at 773-975-8150 or online at www.BohoTheatre.com

 

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