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The Rainmaker

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  345 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Comedy / Casting: 6m, 1f / Scenery: Composite Int. At the time of a paralyzing drought in the West we discover a girl whose father and two brothers are worried as much about her becoming an old maid as they are about their dying cattle. For the truth is, she is indeed a plain girl. The brothers try every possible scheme to marry her off, but without success. Nor is there a ...more
paper, 102 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Samuel French Inc. (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  345 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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Connie Kuntz
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Rainmaker takes place during an early 20th century drought and is set on a ranch in a small town that is situated in western Nebraska. The ranch is run by the patriarch (H.C.) his stubborn, number-crunching son (Noah), his dumb-and-obedient son (Jim), and his 27-year-old capable-but-(gasp!)plain daughter (Lizzie). The town's sheriff and deputy round out the players, as does the Rainmaker "Starbuck" himself. In the foreword, the playwright gives clear instruction to all who come in contact wi ...more
Christopher
Dec 26, 2008 rated it liked it
A very sweet tale that is both expected and vaguely unexpected. It's one of those old-fashioned plays that is complicated in character but not in style or resolution. But the best part of it is that in the end no one judges each other. The father is fantastic, and Lizzie's speech about becoming an old-maid is heartbreaking.
Well worth a read, but keep in mind that it was written in the fifties: you will appreciate it more.
...more
Alexandra Rivers
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a surprise and a very pleasant one. A sweet story set in the Depression-era where the endless, tormenting drought brought to mind the exact opposite--the long rains over Macondo in Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The forces of nature always tormented humans but in this story it’s the humans and the closest ones to her that "torment" the main character, Lizzy.
It’s the brother who loves her that urges her to realize she is ugly and therefore unmarriageable. It’s his brutal h
...more
Kyle
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Hilarious. Far more funny than I was expecting it to be. But also clever with compelling characters. I think this would be a fun piece for actors especially because of the opportunity to swing between archetypes and stereotypes and genuine, authentic humanity-types.

4.5/5
Ron
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lizzie is a heart-of-gold homebody whose dad and brothers wish as hard as she wishes for a romance that will save her from becoming an old maid. There's a shy sheriff deputy lurking as a maybe, and enter the titular con artist who is out to hustle $100 to alleviate the ranch-family's drought misery.

A play as an art form is meant to be enjoyed with a live performance in the context of a theater with appropriate set décor and costumes. That experience is expensive and ephemeral, but reading a play
...more
Stephanie Gates
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, play
This play is so thought provoking and sad and every time that I listen to is, I am moved to tears by Jayne Atkinson's performance as Lizzie Curry. She brings out the vulnerability and intelligence and romantic sides of the character with a deftness that speaks to her greatness as an actress. I know that the text is a bit dated, but there is still a powerful truth to the upheaval that Starbuck brings into all of their lives. ...more
Jasmine
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had to read this play because I’m supposed to construct a Directors Notebook on it for my IB Theatre Arts class and, honestly, it’s given me so much material to work with and I love that. It’s got great characters and a pretty good plot with very complex scenes. Overall, too though, it was a very pleasing read, I enjoyed it and I wasn’t ever bored. The main reason it got marked down a star is because it didn’t have the ending I wanted, it was still good, just not what I wanted.
Holly
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really fun.
Hrushikesh Vasuki
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A short play that kept me interested from start to finish, working through familiar concepts of hope, intra-familial relationships, and exercising control!
Natalie
Mar 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, plays
Fighting it out with Mamet's Oleanna for the title of "Most Sexist Play I Have Read in My Life." Yikes. ...more
Amanda VanderBroek
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This play had an impact on me when I was younger. It was fun and interesting to read it again after many years.
Realini
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Rainmaker by Richard Nash
An exceptional play…9 out of 10

I have seen the movie based on the play many years ago and it made a very strong impression on me.
The Man that Brings Rain stayed within my imagination as a kind of Ubermensch, with supernatural powers.
Not only that, but the Rainmaker has become a kind of nickname, a label attached to someone who Can do things.
And once in a while it popped up in books or articles that I have read.
In the play, the Rainmaker is Starbuck, even if this is t
...more
Valerie Jones
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book details the family relationships of the Curry family on a drought-ridden farm in the United States. Lizzie, is unmarried and feels like a failure as a woman. Her mundane days are filled with caring for her father and brothers until Starbuck, the con man, shows up with his rain machine and turns her world inside out.

I love this play for it's simplistic portrayal of daily life, and the humor hidden in the subtext. This is one of my favorites to read, watch, and perform.

Inappropriate cont
...more
Lisa
Jan 22, 2008 added it
I like this play, it makes me happy. Decided to read it after there was a revival of 110 in the Shade on Broadway. Though I think Lizzy's father and brothers should have been working on their own marital statuses (is that a word?) rather than worrying so much about hers. Overall, though, they were sweet. ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nash fans
Recommended to Erik by: Bill Causer
Shelves: drama
Dad very occasionally would allow me to borrow the family Opel Kadet during high school. Such was the case when Bill suggested a bunch of us go to New Trier H.S. to see the student production of The Rainmaker in which a close friend of his was appearing.
J.A. McNeil
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great play from start to finish! Loved it!
Lynda
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lynda by: lyndafn@yahoo.com
Was the only thing I hadn't read at retreat library. I had seen the movie, but think the play is better. ...more
Julie
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read the book then saw the movie. Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster. Katherine Hepburn was Lizzie, who longed to be loved and then a stranger comes to town...
Tiffany
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
A cute play that definitely brings up a lot of misconceptions that people have about others.
Dave
May 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theater
Dated.
Carolyn
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: theatre
The whiny "I'm not pretty" crap from the main character gets old, but it's not overall a bad story. ...more
Jenn
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Utterly, utterly beautiful and heartfelt. I truly love this play.
Sarah
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a simple story with surprisingly rich and interesting characters. It's definitely a little dated but in a charming sort of way. ...more
Kelly
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful play, really inspired me.
Katie Rodemich
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Basically, plain Jane lets down her ponytail with some added magic!
Jessa
Jun 18, 2011 rated it liked it
What a sweet play. I really enjoyed reading it.
Bt
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really beautiful and compelling play! Lovely, lovely characters and just the kind of story I particularly like.
Jody Davidson
rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2014
Matthew Ballin
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2015
Anjum Choudhury
rated it liked it
Jun 09, 2018
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