Larry Piotrowski, director of 4th Street Theater's production of "Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grill," summed up the life lesson of the apocalyptic comedy/drama in two words.
"Make the decision to take one thing or the other," he said. "You don't have to have everything all of the time. When you get greedy, that's when you get in to trouble."
Opening July 13 and running through July 29, "Rainbow" is a look at a handful of patrons and workers in a Pennsylvania gin mill and their reactions when it is revealed the end of the world is near. More of the characters and the ensuing apocalypse is revealed when a new visitor takes a seat who may have a hand in the future of the planet.
Penned by American playwright and screenwriter Bruce Graham, whose credits include the movies "Dunston Checks in" and "Anastasia" and stage offerings "Top of the World" and "Moon Over the Brewery."
"Rainbow" made its debut in Philadelphia in 1986. Three years later, the play made its way to the Big Apple, where it had a successful off–Broadway run.
"I like the story and I like the characters in it," Piotrowski said. "I like the premise of it, and the characters are so diverse. Any part that an actor would play in this would be a fantastic part for them. It has funny moments and it has sad moments, and the way that it all comes together is just beautiful."
Steve Ellis from Rolling Prairie plays bartender Shep, Kim Meyne from Portage is his co-worker Shirley, and Chicago's Lewis Jones portrays mystery customer Joe in 4th Street Theater's production of "Rainbow." They are joined onstage by Jeffrey Zimmerman from Chesterton as bar regular Roy, Lowell's Matt Stinett as fellow patron Willy and Luci Doler, also from Chesterton, plays another tavern customer, Virginia.
"I have a wonderful cast," Piotrowski said. "That makes it easy on a director when you have professional-minded people that are here to have fun with (the play), but also take it seriously at the same time. The cast, they're absolutely fantastic."
Next up for 4th Street Theater is the musical "The Secret Garden," scheduled to open Oct. 5.