New Work in Progress: Rain

This month, we checked in with Barry Edelstein from The Old Globe about their upcoming premiere of Rain, written by Michael John LaChuisa and Sybille Pearson. Rain is based on W. Somerset Maugham’s short story of the same title.

The year is 1924, the setting a boarding hotel on the island of Western Samoa, where a missionary, a doctor, and their wives are scandalized by Sadie Thompson’s arrival, particularly when they learn what she does for a living. But the missionary has secrets of his own, and when he tries to save her soul, more heats up than the South Pacific sun. This gorgeous and powerful new work reveals the explosive nature of repressed desire. 

How did Rain find its way to The Old Globe, and how does the production fit into The Old Globe’s mission?
I’ve known and admired Michael John LaChiusa for a long time. His music moves me and speaks to me in a distinct and personal way. I loved Giant when I saw it at The Public, and it introduced me to the work he and Sybille are doing together. We’re all represented by the same agent, Charles Kopelman, and it was he who asked me to read and listen to Rain. I loved it and grabbed it. The Globe has a long history of developing world premiere musical theatre (Rain is our 30th such premiere) and this piece, with its literary provenance in Maugham’s great story, seemed to combine the classic with the new in a way that resonates to me as an Old Globe show.

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