"Three Days of Rain" Review- Things Aren't Always What They Seem

“Three Days of Rain”, currently in production by the BoHo Theatre Company at The Heartland Studio, 7109 N. Glenwood through June 25th, is a tight little gem of a play. Written by Richard Greenberg in 1997, it was nominated the following year for a Pulitzer Prize in Drama. 

The two-act piece, directed by Derek Van Barham, stars 3 actors, who each play 2 roles. Kate Black-Spence gives a luminous performance as a young woman and her mother, (Nan/Lina). Kyle Curry is taut and intense as Nan’s brother and their father, (Walker/Ned). Niko Kourtis is engaging and endearing as Ned’s partner and his son (Theo/Pip). The performances are very studied and nuanced, and a fine fit with the sharp, clever dialogue.

Kyle Curry as "Walker" and Kate Black-Spence as "Nan"

Act 1:

The play opens with Nan Janeway meeting her brother, Walker Janeway, in a run-down studio previously occupied by her wildly successful architect father, Ned Janeway and his longtime partner, Theo Wexler. The men lived there while designing the famous “Janeway House”, designed for the siblings’ grandparents.  Walker, who missed his father’s funeral, has found and is trying to decipher his dad’s journal; he scornfully regales his sister with the cryptic entries, attempting to convince her they are emblematic of the paucity of Ned’s emotional substance. He heaps both parents with scorn.

Kate Black-Spence as "Lina" and Niko Kourtis as "Theo"

She agrees to give him the remarkable house he loves and they leave to hear the will read. The 3 return to the studio. Theo’s son, Pip, scorned by Walker for his shallow television career, has inherited the house. Revelations are made by Pip to the siblings: Pip doesn’t even like the house; he believes Walker has always been in love with him; Pip and Nan were young lovers.  Par for the course, Walker disappears. Pip agrees to sell Walker the house.

Pip leaves; Walker returns; brother and sister find a diary entry, “Three days of rain… “As they parse the material, Walker thinks he’s discovered a secret: Ned stole credit for the house after Theo’s untimely death. He presses this interpretation upon his reluctant-to-believe sister.

Kate Black-Spence and Kyle Curry (in the mirror) as "Lina" and "Ned"

Act 2:

The 3 actors portray their parents in the same studio. Curry is now Walker’s father, Ned; Black-Spence is now Nan’s mother, Lina; Kourtis is now his dad, Theo. The truth about the diary’s language is revealed. The assumptions are proved false. The real personalities of the parents and their strongly distinguishing traits emerge. Things are not at all what Walker has concluded; they are vastly different than any of the offspring has suspected.

Kyle Curry as "Ned" and Niko Kourtis as "Theo"

Barham has commented, “I’m especially interested in inspiring an audience to look closer, to recognize the patterns in their own lives, and wonder what they are leaving behind for others”. This play would seem to fit in perfectly with that vision, as it centers on the perceptions of three children about each other and their parents lives and intentions, assumptions that turn out to be skewed and naïve, at best. Most interesting is the use of a strategic device that introduces the children and their notions in the first act, then brings them back in the second act as those parents- and the ensuing revelations. The play also comes to an interesting non-resolution, a surprisingly abrupt and interesting ending which won’t be revealed/spoiled here.

Suffice it to say the plot development is truly ingenious- the audience is shown the truth, but the children are left in the dark. This is a fine play, well-directed and well-acted. Kudos to Patrick Ham, scenic designer, for a wonderfully squalid set, perfectly reminiscent of poor struggling artists and Jos N. Banks for terrific costume design, particularly the fabulous retro dress and shoes worn by Black-Spence as Lina.

Kyle Curry as "Ned" and Kate Black-Spence as "Lina"

 All photos by Amy Boyle Photography

 For information and tickets to  BoHo Theatre's other plays, go to the Bohotheatre website

 

 

 

 

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