“A Steady Rain” Pours On The Drama

A quick note of advice: if you see “A Steady Rain,” do it on a sunny day.

Paul Banks of The Sports Bank and my fellow NBC5 Street Team-er invited me to last Sunday’s performance of the critically acclaimed play. It was a gorgeous afternoon with nary a cloud in the sky. Before we entered the theater I felt it was a shame to be inside on such a beautiful day, especially when there were so many outdoor festivals. As we exited the theater we were thankful for the sudden rush of brightness and light.

A Steady RainA Steady Rain” is a two-man play about two Chicago cops. Joey’s a recovering alcoholic who struggles with loyalty to his childhood friend and partner and the conflict that creates with his own morality. Denny’s a powerful force who justifies his increasingly dangerous behavior with the age-old defense of “family.” There are a considerable number of cliches. A couple of times Paul and I looked at each other and guessed what would happen next. Those could be forgiven though, because while the storyline itself wasn’t overly original, the complexity of the characters made them believable. The performances by Randy Steinmeyer (Denny) and Peter DeFaria (Joey) were so disturbingly convincing it felt like I’d actually witnessed their characters’ decline. Both of them at times made direct eye contact with me and I wanted to look away to avoid being drawn into their psychopathy.

There’s an almost oppressive feel to the play, but there isn’t the relentless, pounding evil of “There Will Be Blood.” Despite the tragic nature of the story there were moments of humor. While they were necessary to relieve the ever-mounting tension, laughing still felt slightly inappropriate, as if it made us participants in Denny’s degeneration.

“A Steady Rain” is an intense character study that illustrates nuances in a good guy-bad guy relationship; Joey isn’t all good, and Denny isn’t all bad. Any plot contrivances are swallowed by the intricacy of the characters and the intensity and quality of the performances by Steinmeyer and DeFaria.

“A Steady Rain” closes this Sunday, June 8. Go. See it. You’ll know you’ve witnessed something remarkable. Just check the weather first.






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