Sometimes The Rain, Sometimes The Sea is a whimsical fable about love between humans and non-humans. Brown University’s production, written by Julia Izumi and directed by Kate Bergstrom, was inspired by the classic Hans Christian Andersen story The Little Mermaid.
Karishma Swarup had an appealing sweetness as the Rain Cloud, who falls in love with Ralmond (Kai Bershack). The only problem is Ralmond is in a relationship with Midi (Marianne Verrone).
Anthony DeRita was wonderfully campy as Bessie the cow, a confidante to Rain Cloud who counseled her about the nature of love. Rain Cloud desperately wants to be human, but has to be loved by another before that can take place. Meanwhile, Edvard (Conor Sweeney), a lovesick prince, pursues Ina (Oyindamola Akingbile), who rebuffs his advances.
Brendan George shows up as the eccentric and boastful Dolan, who has written the story we are watching, “The Little Raincloud.” Dolan realizes, to his dismay, that his creations have taken on lives of their own.
The technical qualities of the production were first-rate. The set design, which featured a huge cloud suspended over the stage like a chandelier, was dazzling. The sound effects of thunder and rain were also convincing.
The performances were all excellent. I especially liked the energy of Conor Sweeney’s performance as well as the passion of Maaike Laanstra-Corn as Little One. Bergstrom’s direction was crisp and imaginative, using the catwalks above the stage in the Leeds Theatre for maximum effect.
Sometimes The Rain, Sometimes The Sea continues Brown’s theater department’s history of producing offbeat and intelligent stories that reflect on the complexities of human nature.
Sometimes The Rain, Sometimes The Sea ran April 5 through 15. Leeds Theatre at Brown University, 83 Waterman St, PVD.