“The Rainmaker” at Antrim Playhouse Makes You Want to Believe

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BY GEORGE J. DACRE
PHOTOS BY BETSY FRANCO FEENEY

3 2 1In the newly refurbished Tom France Theatre at Antrim Playhouse, a very talented cast does a superb job enacting the Midwestern family drama/comedy “The Rainmaker.”

As the Curry family battles for survival during a terrible Depression-era drought, daughter Lizzie Curry, played by Dana Duff, fights a different kind of drought: she’s past marrying age and still hasn’t found love!

This production is a winner with the story building of Lizzie wondering what is wrong with her and why hasn’t she found a man to love her. Brother Jim doesn’t help much by telling her she is not pretty and will be an old maid.

This premise builds comically until love-interest Starbuck “The Rainmaker” arrives.

Directed by Melinda Pinto, the play stars Neil Battinelli as Starbuck, and co-stars Tom Lambris as head of the Curry family, Harry Leavey as Jim, Seth Kaplan as Noah Curry, Gordon Wolotira as the sheriff and Brian King as File, the deputy sheriff.

Starbuck is a smooth talking guy and has eyes for Lizzie. He’s a bit of a confidence man, claiming he can manifest rain over the farm. But the confidence tricks also helps get Lizzie to realize she really is pretty.

In a twist, the sheriff and deputy get involved, as Deputy File begins pursuing Lizzie with some extra help from the long arm of the law. Dana Duff has one of the best scenes in the play when in an attempt to get File interested in her, she does a love dance for him.

Neil Battinelli as Starbuck, the Rainmaker is outstanding and convincing.

The writing of playwright N. Richard Nash is legendary, catching the color of a Midwest family in the dust bowl of the Depression and the family support necessary to get through it. This show first debuted in 1954.

“The Rainmaker” plays well at the famed Antrim Playhouse and I rate it Three Stars Out Of Four.

Does Starbuck bring rain?

Who gets Lizzie?

Find out weekends through June 19. Contact antrimplayhouse.com.

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