THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS
Harlequin Productions’ latest offering is Three Days of Rain, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama by Richard Greenberg, author of Take Me Out.
Without a clear picture of who’s who, this play can be confusing. Here’s a brief overview of the plot:
In act one, 1995, Walker Janeway (Fox Rain Matthews) is staying in the apartment in New York where 35 years earlier his architect father, Ned, and Ned’s partner, Theo, designed the house that made them famous. There, Walker searches to clues to the mystery of his father’s life. He is joined by his sister, Nan (Alyssa Kay), and their childhood friend, Pip (Luke Sayler), who is Theo’s son and is romantically linked to Nan. Volatile relationships ensue. The story begins as Nan and Walker’s father’s estate is being settled. Walker has discovered his father’s hidden journal, which includes tantalizing clues to the past but little information, including the line “April 3-5, three days of rain,” which intrigues Walker.
In act two, 1960, the same three actors each portray their own parents. They are in the same apartment, and, among other things we discover what happened during those mysterious three days.
It helps that in act one each of the actors steps out of his or her role, but not out of character, to explain to the audience what is going on, from their point of view. Then in the second act, when such narration is no longer needed, we discover that nothing in 1960 was as these characters thought in 1995.
The three actors display a great range and depth of acting skills as they each become very different characters, all of whom are complex and multidimensional, including changes in accent and mannerisms.
Matthews and Kay, spouses off stage, portray convincing and entertaining love-hate relationships on stage. Sayler is returning to Olympia as an actor for the first time in over a decade. During that time, he has performed on stage frequently in Seattle. Fellow actors and theater patrons who remember him from his youth will surely enjoy seeing what an accomplished and mature actor he has become.
The set is a grungy New York apartment with plaster-covered old brick walls and exposed pipes. Designed by local master artist Jeannie Beirne, it is beautifully detailed. Lighting by Olivia Burlingame and sound by Gina Salerno combine to create the dank atmosphere that carries the audience into the rain-soaked days in which the drama unfolds.
Three Days of Rain is another triumph for director Aaron Lamb. It is an emotion-charged drama laced with witty dialogue. It is recommended for mature audiences only.
(This review appears courtesy of The Weekly Volcano.)
WHAT Three Days of Rain
WHEN 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through May 26
WHERE State Theater, 202 4th Ave. E., Olympia
HOW MUCH $35, senior/military $32, student/youth $20
LEARN MORE (360) 786-0151, Harlequin Productions