If my good friend who is a regular at Chicago Dramatists had not insisted that I see A Steady Rain, now playing at Chicago Dramatists, I would have missed an amazing theatrical experience. It was so intense that I left the performance exhausted but with a feeling that all the characters I “met” in the play were still nearby. I am so glad I took her suggestion because there was so much about the experience that was unique and impressive.
The Chicago Commercial Collective brings the return of the Chicago and Broadway hit drama, A Steady Rain, with its original cast and crew to the Chicago Dramatists. A Steady Rain received its world premiere at the Chicago Dramatists in fall 2007 and was an instant hit. The production ran for six weeks before moving to the Royal George Theatre for a four-month run and then opened on Broadway starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in September 2009. Few other productions in recent Chicago history have garnered the rave reviews as A Steady Rain. Its’New York adaptation broke box office records for highest weekly gross of a non-musical production on Broadway and was included in Time magazine’s “Top 10 Plays of 2009.”
The production, written by Keith Huff and directed by original director Russ Tutterow is the story of two seasoned police officers, Denny (Randy Steinmeyer) and Joey (Peter DeFaria) who find themselves caught up in a series of conflicts between family and duty. When a domestic disturbance call that seems to be routine results in the shocking death of a boy, relationships change. As the horrific truth of the situation is made public, one of the two must take the blame for the fatal mistake. Their life-long friendship is put to the test, as both men struggle with issues of honor, love and loyalty in the face of adversity.
It would be difficult to imagine more skilled acting or a more convincing set, and this with only two actors and a set that is only tables, chairs and windows. The intimacy of this venue brings the audience into the action. On a stage that was essentially bare, with only two actors, we know a wife, a girl friend, children, the boss, a pimp, a victim, a murderer and even a dog. The scenes changed remarkably with the use of music and lighting. The feel of Chicago and its’ language was reminiscent of David Mamet’s works. Both the venue and the production are Chicago “hidden treasures”.
The design team for A Steady Rain includes set designer Tom Burch, lighting designer Jeff Pines, costume designer Samantha Jones, sound designer Mike Tutaj, and stage manager Wendye Clarendon.
I found the ninety minutes of this production riveting, absorbing and compelling. This is great Chicago Theatre. See it soon.
1105 W. Chicago Ave.
The regular run until September 2, 2012 is Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and are $40 (preview tickets are $35) and may be purchased online at www.asteadyrainchicago.com. Student and group discounts are available
Photos: Jeff Pines