Theater: Cary Player’s Production of The Rainmaker

Story by Lindsey Chester and photos by Brooke Meyer

Cary, NC – The Cary Players finish their movie-themed season this week with The Rainmaker, the 1956 hit which starred Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn. And just like the original, this production runs hot! 

The Rainmaker

Lizzy Curry is on her way to becoming an “old maid” when a man passing through town steals her heart and those of her family with the promise of rain and so much more.

The play is set somewhere in the mid-west during the great Depression and the drought that caused the Dust Bowl. The Curry farm is struggling to survive as cattle die and farm hands are laid off.

Internal struggles threaten to break the family apart. Loving father  H.C. Curry (Phil Crone) and brothers Noah and Jim have tried to play matchmaker for Lizzy, only to lead to further disappointment.

One night their door blows open and in walks Starbuck who claims he can bring the needed rain to their lives.

Love in the Time of Drought

Director Staci Sabarsky says “We’ve all experienced drought, whether it be from much needed rain, in our finances, or in our love life. That’s why I believe this story still resonates with us today. It’s characters are real and their problems are real, just like their hopes and dreams”

Starbuck, played by Steve Whetzel,  is excellent as the smooth talking outlaw who convinces the family he can make it rain for $100. He dreams big, and asks them to have faith.

Strong Cast

The eldest brother Noah, (Brook North) beleaguered by running the farm, is worn down by circumstances. The scene in which he “tells it like it is” to Lizzy is heartbreaking. In one quick moment he manages to dash her dreams, and you realize he has none of his own.

Lizzy (Natalie Turgeon), begins the play almost resigned to her fate as the town Old Maid, but Starbuck manages a remarkable transformation. More remarkable is that this is Natalie’s first acting role, and she’s a natural. But no one would ever call her plain!

When the Sheriff (Phil Lewis), and his eligible bachelor deputy File (Eric Morales) visit looking for a man wanted by the law, the family unites in a surprising way. Their faith in a stranger has changed them forever.

But does it ever rain? Head to one of the shows of the season to find out!

Remaining Show Dates

  • Fri May 4, 7:30pm
  • Sat May 6, 7:30pm
  • Sun May 7, 3:00pm


  • Adults: $18
  • Seniors: $16 (55 or older)
  • Students: $16
  • Groups: $15 (20 or more)

Visit Cary Player to order tickets, or stop by in person at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Avenue in Downtown Cary.

1 reply
  1. MarkA
    MarkA says:

    Oh, Lindsey…good review, but you should have left out that last sentence! (Leave a little mystery for the next weekend. :-)

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