We both had long days on Saturday, but since the tickets were bought, we went out Saturday night to see the Goshen Players presentation of "The Rainmaker". Now, I remembered parts of the old movie with Burt Lancaster and I knew it was a good storyline, but never saw it performed as a play.
First we did not get our favorite balcony seats. The balcony is small and there are only about five front row seats that are perfect. Any other seat in the balcony has poles in the way or the other rows are not slanted enough to be able to see over the heads in front--though they did put in new chairs that are movable so you may be able to alter them between heads.
Now that's not to complain about the main floor seats. From every seat on the main floor you can see perfectly. They set it up cabaret style with coffee, tea and little pastries and cookies with four chairs at each table. It is very nice. We just like the full view from above of the balcony. I shouldn't be spreading this around because everyone is going to be fighting us for our favorites seats!
To the play itself...this is the first play that Les Ober has directed there as far as we know. We know him as former director at our local high school. Whatever performances we saw there were high caliber. We were surprised to see such talent at high school level.
I don't know how much he had to do with drawing out the talent at adult level in Goshen, but "The Rainmaker" was excellent. Every single actor shined. Tom Denihan as Jim, the younger, not so smart, yet well-meaning brother was goofy but likeable. He provided much of the comedic aspect of the play.
Andrus Gates who played Lizzy was my husband's favorite. He was so impressed by her. She did have the deepest part showing a person's struggle with life and losing faith in hopes and dreams and then realizing the faith has to come from within to make dreams come true.
Noah Curry, the older brother was the serious, heavy handed character who wanted to control the others when he felt his father wasn't giving them the proper guidance. Michael Reilly delivered this extremely well.
Burt Lancaster's part in the movie was Bill Starbuck. Jonathan Jacobson protrayed the fast talking, con man, yet not such a bad guy after all. He did so excellently.
Keith Martin convincingly played the concerned yet perplexed father not knowing what to do to help his family. Also, struggling with life issues, Deputy File was well played by Anthony Urillo. We were interested to read that Anthony has appeared on some TV shows and a couple of movies. Finally, Jeff Savage was the Sheriff, a role that fit him well.
The play made you think and made you laugh. The stage was set with three different scenes yet interestingly and cleverly done so that there was no curtain needed. Although we were so exhausted from our days (and a lesser play I would have dozed), we are so glad that we went. It was an enjoyable performance, an excellent job done by one and all. Long live community theatre and the wonderful talent hidden within it.