A Steady Rain in LA Review - Does Pure Truth Exist?

Playwright Keith Huff was born and raised in Chicago, the son-in-law of a Chicago Police Commander. These indisputable facts become obvious when reflecting on A STEADY RAIN. First performed in 2007 in Chicago, A STEADY RAIN opened on Broadway in 2009 in a production which starred Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, breaking box office records. Named by Time Magazine as one of the TOP 10 Plays of 2009, this 2017 production of the play also won the Better Lemons Audience Choice Award. A STEADY RAIN continues to resonate with today’s audiences as it explores the moral ambiguity so often faced by police officers all over the U.S.

Andy Hoff as Joey and R.J. DeBard as Denny - Photo by Adam Ikaika

This powerful play is skillfully directed by virtuoso acting coach John Kirby, who has traveled the world giving pointers to working actors. A combination of an excellent script, careful and compassionate direction, and actors who personify the duality of truth in all its gray undertones, A STEADY RAIN continues to be a crowd-pleaser.

Andy Hoff and R.J. DeBard - Photo by Adam Ikaika

Denny (R.J. DeBard) and Joey (Andy Hoff) have been best buddies all their lives. Born and raised in Chicago, they have always felt a genuine urge to protect and serve. Now they are partners in the Chicago Police Department. They are also beset daily with the challenges of the job – which may just cause their moral compasses to tilt ever so slightly. Denny and Joey have been passed over for promotions at least three times – and both men feel slighted by the job which they treasure. Joey has taken to the solace offered in a bottle, while Denny has become inured to the pain they see every day. Then they are called in on a simple domestic violence case – and everything begins to go sideways.

Andy Hoff - Photo by Adam Ikaika

 A STEADY RAIN is the tale of friendship and family and how these two exemplary goals may be subverted under stress. Denny started out his career at the top of his game – but life got in his way. Now he begins to spiral out of control. Joey began his career on a lower note – but, little by little, he has found a path to possible redemption. Unfortunately, this could be on his best friend’s back. DeBard and Hoff do an excellent job of eking out every iota of pain into gradually escalating moments of emotional explosion. Director Kirby knows just how to pull every emotion into play. This is a play which every actor in Los Angeles would benefit from studying.

R.J. DeBard - Photo by Adam Ikaika

Mike Flannery’s set design is simple and suggestive of the play’s surroundings, with Donny Jackson’s lighting, Nick Santiago’s projection design, and Aaron Lyons’ sound adding to the inferential backgrounds. The audience must draw upon their own experiences to add the details. Overall, A STEADY RAIN is a potent piece which starts out deceptively low key, building with inevitability to the final moments. This is not a play for the faint of heart. Donny’s and Joey’s odyssey is intensely realistic – but also embroidered with the somber thread of tragedy.

R.J. DeBard and Andy Hoff - Photo by Adam Ikaika

A STEADY RAIN runs through August 20, 2017, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7 p.m. on Sundays. The John Kirby Studio is located at 1510 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Tickets are $20. For information and reservations, call 323-467-7877 or go online.

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