A Steady Rain: Police Thriller Too Close to the Bone
There is no shortage of crime drama programming on TV and our cinema screens, and it is just as plentiful to see crime in real time in our world. But theatre is yet another place where they tear away the fourth wall and allow us to peer voyeuristically into something pretty darn close to reality. And in this arena, intimacy and access create the perfect storm for a crime-based thriller to work its magic within the viewer.
When Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain opens in Grand Rapids , this inspired-by-the-headlines play will have been workshopped in our neighboring city of Chicago and received a star-studded Broadway debut with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig before finally landing at Actors’ Theatre of Grand Rapids.
But what makes this production really soar in the eyes of those who enjoy a (pardon my wording) tasty thriller is that this story is exquisitely revealed through the device of only using two actors to propel this heartfelt story of childhood best friends who became partners within the Chicago Police Department. (…)
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Just in case you missed it – here is a link to Shelley Irwin’s great interview on the Morning Show. You can download the interview or listen to it on the site.
Shelley Irwin January 18, 2013 | WGVU
Actors Theatre presents the production, A Steady Rain, the story of a relationship of almost biblical intensity and riddled with love, loyalty, guilt, and shame. We have actors in studio. (Click here to hear the interview.)
Review: ‘A Steady Rain’ at Actors’ Theatre soaks audience in story of intense brotherhood
By Lorilee Craker | email@example.com
on January 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM
THEATER REVIEW: 3 1/2 OUT OF 4 STARS
‘A Steady Rain’
Highlight: The parting shot of Denny and Joey, coming to terms with their future.
Low point: Heinous descriptions and word pictures of a serial killer (based on Jeffrey Dahmer) and his unspeakable acts.
Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes, no intermission.
See it: Through Feb. 2 at Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE, $20-$24, Spectrum Theater box office, (234-3946), atgr.org.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Deeply flawed and even disturbed, childhood friends Joey (Jim Cantrell) and Denny (Todd Lewis) always have each others’ backs, whether it be in life and domestic issues or on the mean streets of Chicago as cops and partners.
Their friendship, closer than most brothers, is tested to the snapping point in this taut, terrifying hour-and-a-half melodrama that pummels theatergoers with its intensity. Presented by Actors’ Theatre, “A Steady Rain” poured down like acid drops at times on patrons at Thursday’s opening-night performance, a raw deluge of depravity that left no doubt as to mankind’s need for redemption.
Denny is the top dog, a blustery cauldron of justifications and defensiveness. For him, everyone else is the bad guy and he’s to blame for very little. He constantly brags about his “good life,” in a decent house with an attractive wife and two little boys, and generously invites his lonely best friend over almost every night.
Lewis’s Denny is totally full of crap, but one can spot glimmers of his good heart from time to time, saving him from being utterly deplorable. For as the story unfolds, theatergoers learn that Denny isn’t nearly the upstanding family man he presents himself to be and deep down knows he’s not. He’s racist, impulsive, hot tempered and hypocritical — and that’s just for starters.
Joey is easier to like, an alcoholic nebbish who has no life outside of a low-man-on-the-totem-pole beat cop job and a fifth-wheel spot in Denny’s family. Still, he’s moral and reliable, two things the pair become desperately needful of when everything unravels horribly.
A pimp Denny has busted a few times shoots a bullet through his family’s home, injuring his toddler son. Frenzied with revenge, Denny goes on a rampage that further tears his life apart. (…)
Read the rest of the review on www.mlive.com.
There is still on more weekend to check out this amazing show!
A Steady Rain
By Keith Huff
Jan. 31 – Feb 2, 2013 All shows at 8PM. Go to www.atgr.org for more information and to reserve your seats online.
Book by Hunter Bell , music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen
Director: Michele Urbane
Cast: 4 (2 Men/2 Women) + On-stage Pianist
Audition Dates: January 26 & 27, 2013 – 2PM-5PM1, Spectrum Theater
Production Dates: March 28-April 6, 2013
Description: Jeff and Hunter decided to enter a new musical theater festival. The problem? With the deadline only a few weeks away, they have no idea what their musical should be about. With a severe case of writers’ block and the clock ticking, the duo decides to go all out and create something entirely new, with the help of their friends Susan, Heidi and Larry. What do they write about? Why, writing about what to write about, of course! [title of show] is a hilarious new musical about two guys writing a musical – about two guys writing a musical. [Explore [title of show]]
JEFF: (20’s) a composer/lyricist
HUNTER: (20’s) a book writer
SUSAN: (20’s-30s) their actor friend
HEIDI: (20’s) their actor friend
There was a great article on www.mlive.com about A Steady Rain. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Play delivers a deluge of drama in ‘A Steady Rain’ at Actors’ TheatreBy Todd Chance | firstname.lastname@example.org
on January 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM
GRAND RAPIDS, MI –Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids is bringing another premiere to West Michigan with the debut of ‘A Steady Rain’ on Thursday, Jan. 24.
A story of brotherhood and betrayal, this police drama is a two-man show that has been performed by the likes of Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman on Broadway.
Two Chicago policemen and friends since childhood, Denny and Joey, answer a routine domestic disturbance call, which turns into something much more frightening. As the name implies, the deluge of complications and conflicts is never-ending from that moment forward. But don’t expect a typical “Law and Order” style drama.
“At its core, it is a cop drama. But the language and the way this play unfolds is very different from what the public is used to seeing on television,” said Jonathan Clausen, director of development at Actors’ Theatre. “There are all sorts of twists and turns with around five parallel stories going on at the same time. Audiences are in for a ride as those stories weave and intersect with each other until they all meet in the conclusion.”
Be sure and head on over to www.mlive.com to read the rest of the article.
Performances Thursday, Jan. 24 through Saturday, Feb. 2
All evening performances begin at 8 p.m.
At Grand Rapids Community College’s Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE
Ticket prices begin at $24 for adults and $20 for students/seniors and can be purchased online at atgr.org/a-steady-rain or by calling the Actors’ Theatre box office at (616) 234-3946.