Santa Monica Lookout
“The Rainmaker” Features Love, Desire and Magic at the Edgemar in Santa Monica
THE MAYORS CHALLENGE
By Jorge Casuso
March 6, 2013 – Like Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Rainmaker,” currently being staged at the Edgemar in Santa Monica, is the story of plain young spinster courted by a charismatic gentleman caller.
Both plays, written ten years apart, take place during the Great Depression, and both made it to the silver screen staring Katherine Hepburn. But while Williams’ play is set in hot, humid New Orleans and evokes rain in its epigraph, “The Rainmaker” takes place during the Dust Bowl.
In the midst of the withering and persistent draught, Laura’s life suddenly takes a turn when a charismatic stranger named Starbuck appears and claims he can make the clouds come and the rains fall.
“The Rainmaker” is about “love, desire and magic and expresses these themes so resonantly that the play has been translated into forty languages since it premiered on Broadway in 1954,” the producers state. “Dreamers on a hot summer day prove that our faith in miracles never quite dies.”
Recommended by Ovation and picked as a critics choice by the LA Times, the Santa Monica production is staged by Henry Jaglom & The Rainbow Theater Company, in association with Edgemar Center for the Arts.
The play by N. Richard Nash -- famous for his Broadway shows “Wildcat,” “110 in the Shade” “The Happy Time -- stars Tanna Frederick as Lizie and Robert Standley as Starbuck, along with Benjamin Chamberlain, David Garver, Ralph Guzzo, Steve Howard and Scott Roberts.
Frederick starred in Los Angeles in Nash’s play, “Echoes.” Her previous shows at The Edgemar Center included Claire Chafee’s “Why We Have a Body,” which she also directed. She also had long runs as the title dog in A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia,”and in two plays written by Henry Jaglom, “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” and “Always…But Not Forever.”
Frederick has starred in several films directed by Jaglom including, most recently, “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” “Queen of the Lot,” “Hollywood Dreams,” and “Irene in Time.” A fifth film collaboration currently in the editing stage, “The M Word,” will be released in 2013.
Standley has starred in the national tours of “The Rainmaker,” “Cotton Patch Gospel,” and his one-man show “According to Coyote.” He recently appeared in “Post Office” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
Standley won an Ovation Award for his performance in “Barbarians” and Outer Critics Circle Awards for “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Picnic.” He recurred in the TV series “Invasion,” “Melrose Place,” “All My Children” and “Breaking Through.” He appeared on film in “Turn of Faith,” “Ali,” “The gatherers,” “Deep Descent” and won a Best Actor award at Angel Citi Film Festival for his role in “Time Loves A Hero.”
Heller directed more than 60 productions in the U.S. and Canada, as well as episodes of the television series “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”
“The Rainmaker” runs through May 7 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts, on the Main Stage, 2437 Main Street. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.. Admission is $34.99, with a limited number of tickets available for each performance at $25.00.
For reservations call 310.392.7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.
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