“The Rainmaker” is being revisited by Door County’s respected Peninsula Players Theatre.
Seven more performances continue to July 3 at the theater’s historic Theatre-in-a-Garden three miles south of Fish Creek.
“The Rainmaker” opened on Broadway in October 1954.
It has been translated into more than 40 languages.
A movie version arrived in 1956. A 1997 movie of the same name tells a different story.
“The Rainmaker” also was made into a Broadway musical, “100 in the Shade,” which also was made into a movie.
The production at Peninsula Players Theatre by astute director Linda Fortunato and her creative collaborators may be one of a kind.
The casting is definitely different than in the 1954 Broadway version and the movie.
However, a story is a story, and people are people – so those are the same.
The story turns around the grip of a drought on a family on a normally prosperous cattle ranch outside of Kansas City.
Lizzie is the mid-life woman in the family whose males want her to married despite calling her “plain,” among other snubs.
The men are caught up in other battles among themselves – such age-old thorns as control and responsibility versus the fast and care-free way.
Suddenly, the flamboyant and mystical Bill Starbuck arrives and overwhelms everybody with his flash and promise.
In a way, this comet of a personality has more caffeine energy than Starbucks coffee.
For one hundred dollars and a bunch of goofy tricks the men have to do, Starbuck guarantees that rain will fall.
The other project of Starbuck is symbolic – as the rainmaker for the life of Lizzie.
Lizzie is a woman of flint who is looking for a fire to light – in other words, a worthy man, who is at hand, who is the deputy sheriff.
It is all lovely and engaging stuff, told with the expertise of a professional company with the knowhow of 87 seasons behind it.
“The Rainmaker” is starting the 2022 season in typical Peninsula Players Theatre fashion – something meaty, done artistically.