Friday November 24th 2017

“A Steady Rain”

It is hard to believe that it was almost 5 years ago when Chicago Dramatists first presented Keith Huff’s explosive cop story,”A Steady Rain” in the intimacy of their little theater located at Chicago/Ogden and Milwaukee Avenues. From there, it traveled to The Royal George where it continued to play to sold out houses and then, off to Broadway. In New York’s production, “name” actors were used instead of the two glorious actors who made this sterling drama come to life. Well, it is now back, where it started and with the original cast and the original crew and like a fine wine, this production is even stronger than the original. The actors, under the stellar direction of Russ Tutterow, Randy Steinmeyer as Denny and Peter DeFaria as Joey are a little older, with a little more weariness in their faces, which in reality makes the current production even stronger.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story of “A Steady Rain”, it is the story of two seasoned police officers who are in a conflict betwwen their work and relationship when what should have been a routine domestic disturbance call results in the death of a young boy. These are two men who have known each other the better part of their lives, from grade school, through the Police Academy and now as partners. Denny is a married man with all of the “things” that come with a family and Joey is single, spending a great deal of time with his extended family (Denny’s). The entire action of this 90 minutes of intensity takes place on a simple set ( Tom Burch) that has a table and two chairs- the type one might see on any TV Cop show where questioning takes place. The focus is on the men and their stories- each tells his story, intertwining with the others as if they are telling it to a panel or a arbitrator as we learn about that fateful night and how each of these men was affected by the events, during a night where the rain fell from start to finish.

What takes place during the unveiling of the evening is powerful as their friendship is put to the supreme test- one of them must take the fall for what happened- the public demands this! As each tells their story we see the respect and love as well as admiration that these two men have for each other, but we also see a bit of jealousy as Joey wants the life that Denny has. I will not give away the ending as that would ruin the effect it will have on you, but I will say that both of these actors are marvelous in portraying men who appear to be real in many ways. Based on some strong interviews with police officers, Huff has true feeling in every scene and passage and with the lighting( Jeff Pines) and the sound and incidental music ( Mike Tutaj), we feel the intimacy of the moment and the situation that these men are faced with as they struggle with the issue of their loyalty to each other, their love for each other and the honor that they owe to each other and to the people they serve- Chicago!

“A Steady Rain” , an award winning play with productions that continue to make people think and talk, will continue in the intimate Chicago Dramatists Theatre  located at 1105 W. Chicago Avenue through September 2nd ( maybe beyond or another venue to follow, but do not wait- this is a MUST SEE) with performances as follows:

Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.,Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $40 ( open seating, but there are no bad seats in this comfy, intimate theater). To purchase your tickets , visit the box office, or visit www.asteadyrainchicago.com

Police officers, Firefighters and other city officials/employees can purchase tickets at a special rate of $25 and of course student discounts are available. I would suggest that ALL police officers see this one and students should be aware that this is for a mature audience.

There is limited parking in the area, some metered, some not but public transportation makes it simple as the Blue Line stop is just across the street.

For more info on the Chicago Dramatists, visit www.chicagodramatists.org

To see what others say about this production, visit the “A Steady Rain” page at www.theatreinchicago.com

 

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