"The Rainmaker"

Pittsburgh Newsweekly

August 30, 1995


Even after repeated viewings, I'm always happy to see how well N. Richard Nash's romantic comedy The Rainmaker holds up.  Plays these days, by design I might add, don't seem to be this terrifically concerned with structure and plot.  Maybe it's a refraction of our increasingly fragmented society.  Or maybe it's just because all playwrights are schizophrenic anymore.  You tell me. But plays as tightly woven and linearly coherent as The Rainmaker don't see the light of theatrical day too much anymore.  And, as proof of its cumulative power, I offer in evidence my very own tears at the curtain.  I may be schizophrenic but I'm still such a sap.


For those of you who've never seen this show, or just wanna see it again, the south Park Theatre production, under the skilled and compelling direction of Rick Campbell, is the perfect opportunity to do so.  Featuring the uniformly strong work by its cast, this Rainmaker knows which buttons to push and just how far to go.  Leading the charge is Lynne Franks as Lizzie Curry, resolutely underplaying the role's available pathos and creating, in the process, a moving portrait of a complex and melancholy woman.  John Imro's Starbuck is all bluster and promise, Allan Nesvisky is every inch the compassionate father HC, Dale Irvin's seemingly harsh Noah is laced with love and concern for his sister and Jay Paul Smith is a big audience favorite as the sweetly stupid brother Jim.