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HomeOperaUplifting American traditional 'The Rainmaker' triumphs at 1st Stage

Uplifting American traditional ‘The Rainmaker’ triumphs at 1st Stage


Drought. A con man. Love. An all-American play, The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash will get an outstanding manufacturing by 1st Stage in Tysons, Virginia. Directed by Deidra LaWan Starnes, the affiliate inventive director of 1st Stage, the revival options Tamieka Chavis as Lizzie Curry on the heart of this emotionally charged and uplifting story.

Tamieka Chavis (Lizzie Curry) in ‘The Rainmaker.’ Picture by Teresa Castracane.

A stranger involves city. This is likely one of the predominant story drivers in Western literature. In The Rainmaker, the stranger, Invoice Starbuck, as charismatically performed by Matthew Sparacino is promising much-needed rain to the drought-stricken Texas ranch. He makes a deal, betting the determined Curry household 100 {dollars} that he can produce rain within the subsequent twenty-four hours.

Scott Sedar (H.C. Curry), Jonathan Del Palmer (Jim Curry), and Tamieka Chavis (Lizzie Curry) in ‘The Rainmaker.’ Picture by Teresa Castracane.

The Curry household, nonetheless, wants greater than rain or aid from the 102-degree warmth.

Lizzie, accused by her brother Noah — performed with pointed, spot-on bullying by Vince Eisenson — of changing into a plain previous maid, wants a manner out. Her different brother, Jim, ebulliently performed by Jonathan Del Palmer, supplies comedian aid and a counterpoint to Noah, although he agrees: she must discover a husband.

At first look, the arrival of Starbuck and the invitation to the ranch to the native sheriff and potential suitor, File, appear to supply a manner out for Lizzie. Jacob Yeh as File embodies all of the awkwardness and insecurity of a suitor with a secret.

However there’s extra, and that is the place Chavis takes the reins of this function together with the fantastically shifting efficiency of H.C. Curry by Scott Sedar as her sympathetic, insightful, and loving father. I need to confess right here — I’m a sap for father-daughter tales as a result of I used to be raised by a single father. I fell arduous for the scenes between father and daughter, in addition to the scenes between father and sons, particularly when the hardscrabble paterfamilias overlooks the tryst between Starbucks and Lizzie — and leans into tenderness.

Scott Sedar (H.C. Curry) and Tamieka Chavis (Lizzie Curry) in ‘The Rainmaker.’ Picture by Teresa Castracane.

Finally, it’s Lizzie who should acknowledge her personal value — and her personal magnificence. She should make the choice about whom to like, and in these moments, notably within the extra dramatic ones, her efficiency shines. She should save herself. That is the place the story, which may have pivoted to old school memes of womanhood, saves itself. It’s a tribute to the playwright N. Richard Nash to have written such a layered, central function for a lady character in 1954, which transcends the previous maid clichés, in addition to for Tamieka Chavis for her riveting efficiency in 2022.

The characters is perhaps hoping for rain, however in the end, we hope for like to rain down on them. In the long run, we get each.

Jacob Yeh (File) and Tamieka Chavis (Lizzie Curry) in ‘The Rainmaker.’ Picture by Teresa Castracane.

A shoutout to the sound design created by navi and the unique music of banjo, guitar, and violin by Ryan Buell, whose interludes transport the viewers again to the Nineteen Thirties with out feeling old-timey. As well as, the richly wooded retro set design by Nadir Bey and the lighting design by Minjoo Kim completely evoke the ranch lifetime of the Nineteen Thirties.

A triumphant manufacturing of The Rainmaker by the multi-talented Deidra LaWan Starnes and the forged and crew.

Operating Time: Two hours half-hour, together with one 15-minute intermission.

The Rainmaker performs by means of December 11, 2022, at 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Street, Tysons, VA. To buy tickets ($15, scholar, army, educators; $47, seniors; $50, basic admission), go on-line or name 703-854-1856. The primary 20 tickets for every efficiency are solely $20. Plus, a YES cross for highschool college students in Fairfax County provides free subscriptions. See particulars right here.

This system for The Rainmaker is downloadable right here.

COVID Security:  All patrons, volunteers, and workers are required to be masked whereas inside the first Stage Theatre facility. See 1st Stage’s full COVID Security Info right here.

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