Revival of 'Rain' lacks driving power of original;
New York — Rain Drama. By John Colton and Clemence Randolph, based on a short story by W. Somerset Maugham. Directed by John Strasberg. The original production of ''Rain,'' starring Jeanne Eagles, created a sensation in the 1922-23 Broadway season and ran for 648 performances. The sturdy vehicle has subsequently been revived, filmed, and even musicalized. With co-adaptor Clemence Randolph's name unaccountably omitted from the program credits, ''Rain'' has joined the Mirror Repertory Company's presentations of ''Inheritors'' and ''Paradise Lost'' in its new home in the Theatre at St. Peter's Church.
Long since overtaken by the shock waves of a more explicit theater, ''Rain'' survives as a curio whose Freudian allusions and cynical musings now seem all too obvious and predictable. The central conflict between Sadie Thompson's frail amorality and the Rev. Davidson's fatally flawed zealotry retains a certain dramatic force. As played by Sabra Jones (Sadie) and David Cryer (missionary Davidson) under John Stasberg's direction, their confrontation still has the power to move a latter-day audience.
The occasion also manifests certain languors. They are not solely accounted for by the oppressive humidity of the play's setting: the South Seas island of Pago Pago in the rainy season. Mr. Strasberg has made some amendments in the text, and not always to the advantage of his production. He might excusably have trimmed this long, verbose drama.