World Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Rain Set to Begin
The W. Somerset Maugham-inspired musical starts performances tonight.
Based on the short story of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham, the show takes place on the island of Western Samoa in 1924. At a boarding hotel on the island are a missionary, a doctor, and their wives, all of whom are scandalized by the arrival of Sadie, whose occupation especially alarms them. As the missionary tries to shut down Sadie's business in the hopes of saving her soul, his own secrets threaten to rise to the surface.
Old Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein makes his musical directing debut with Rain, which features music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and book by Sybille Pearson. The cast includes Marie-France Arcilla as Noi Noi, Elizabeth A. Davis as Anna Davidson, Jeremy Davis as Jo, Eden Espinosa as Sadie Thompson, Betsy Morgan as Louisa MacPhail, Rusy Ross as Kiwi, Mike Sears as Quartermaster and Hopper, Tally Sessions as Alec MacPhail, and Jared Zirilli as Alfred Davidson.
"LaChiusa and Pearson are at the top rank of the American musical stage, and with this piece they have outdone even themselves," said Edelstein. "Their approach to Maugham's classic tale is to X-ray it, revealing the tale's hidden powers that make its characters so memorable and their stories so moving. In LaChiusa and Pearson's hands, Rain becomes a story of repression, desire, and need, driven by a ravishing score that's sweeping and romantic, evocative and emotional."
The creative team includes Patrick McCollum (movement), J. Oconer Navarro (music director), Bruce Coughlin (orchestrations), Mark Wendland (set design), Katherine Roth (costume design), Russell H. Champa (lighting design), Ken Travis (sound design), and James Latus (stage manager).
Performances will run through May 1.