Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When the Rain Stops Falling

Family dramas often comprise similar ingredients: multiple generations, estranged relatives, alcoholism and/or drug addiction, long-kept secrets, deep attachments and deeper disappointments, and, perhaps, a touch of adultery, murder, incest, molestation, or some other dramatic sin. The challenge then becomes to present these ingredients in new, surprising, and freshly engaging ways. In When the Rain Stops Falling, author Andrew Bovell, director David Cromer, the designers, and the cast combine their prodigious skills to turn a not-particularly-unusual story into a profoundly emotional, satisfyingly theatrical epic. Their tools include a fractured timeline and poetically repetitive language that heighten the story-telling; compassionate, precise acting that allows the characters a certain grandeur, even when they are far from grand; and design elements that bring the audience into the center of the (physical and emotional) storms on stage. Simply put, the production of When the Rain Stops Falling at Lincon Center does indeed manage to present the familiar ingredients of a family drama in a new, surprising, and freshly engaging way that makes for a thrilling evening in the theatre.

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