“The Rainmaker”

The Hollywood classic enchanted us (and Burt Lancaster isn't too hard on the eyes, either). What's not to like about a charming story of a woman who has just about darn well given up every dream, the man who comes to town promising a bit of magic (in exchange for cash), and how their lives intersect in complicated ways? Now "The Rainmaker," a tug-the-heartstrings staple of both stage and screen, gets a fresh spin at A Noise Within.

While the work is very much associated with the mid-century vibe of the Lancaster-headlining film, consider the tale's timeless implications. There's a community on the edge, and people sore down on their luck. Soon, a stranger arrives on the scene and boy is he full of big talk -- he can, so he says, make rain (which the parched plains in this play so desperately need). Or can he? And if he can't, are there other gifts he can offer the townspeople (and what will they give to him that he doesn't expect)?

No matter what prism of contemporary society we view the story through, we can conjure up with a modern-day correlation. Throw in the romantic angle, and the pull-the-family-together themes, and we're there.

"The Rainmaker"
A Noise Within, 234 S. Brand Boulevard, Glendale

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