by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM
Players by the Sea is presenting Richard Greenberg’s impressive “Three Days of Rain,” which debuted in 1997 and was revived on Broadway in 2006. This play will run through February 25, with evening performances at 8 PM and one matinee at 2 PM on February 19th. Call 249-0289 for reservations.
Players has presented some unique theatre pieces over the years in the seventy-five seat Studio Stage and “Three Days of Rain” is certainly is one of them.
The play showcases three talented and well-known local actors in demanding roles. In Act One they portray the children of two famous architects. In Act Two, they appear as the parents. The first act takes place in 1995 and all the characters are about thirty years old. The second act takes place in 1960 with the parents about the same age.
The setting is a seedy Manhattan loft apartment with a mattress on the floor that has been empty for years. Walker, played by Joe Walz, has chosen the place because his recently deceased father owned it and lived there as he struggled to establish professional recognition at the beginning of his career. Walker is a self-absorbed wanderer, who disappears from the lives of others on a whim. He has come back from his latest lengthy escapade to meet his sister Nan (Amanda Morales) to attend the reading of his father’s will. Both expect to inherit considerable amounts of money, along with a large mansion owned by their parents.
They are joined by Pip (Jason Collins), a close friend since childhood, and the son of the architect partner of Walker’s father. Walker finds a journal kept by his non-communicative father that begins with “April 3rd to 5th – Three Days of Rain,” and, thinking he knows his father’s history, begins to envision the events that might have led to the enigmatic entry. The well-written first act is full of dry wit and revelations about the personality of each character. It builds to a startling conclusion in response to the reading of the will.
The second act takes place in the same apartment. Players’ Stage Manager Brooks Studier and his stage crew Sierra Arnold, Katie Berry, and Laurel Wilson, do a magical makeover, moving back to the in time to the sixties to turn the apartment into a mid-century modern marvel, furnished with Scandinavian furniture and a platform bed topped with a colorful red comforter.
Ned (Joe Walz), the father of the as yet unborn Walker, lives and works here with his business partner, Theo (Jason Collins). Joining them is Lina (Amanda Morales), Theo’s girlfriend, a beguiling but unstable southern belle. The two architects have received a commission for an expensive mansion, and the question of their ability to do it becomes an issue. We want to tell you more but won’t because we don’t want to spoil the elements of mystery in the story.
We can see why these actors wanted to be in this play, since it offers each the opportunity to play two different people.
Joe Walz as Walker is hyperactive and talks a mile a minute. As Ned, Walz has a stuttering problem and avoids speaking; when he must speak, he hesitantly uses short sentences. As Walker, he is an extrovert, as Ned, an introvert.
Jason Collins as Pip is a happy-go-lucky supporting actor in a successful television series and he loves it. He knows he is not a great actor and never will be but he likes the way his life has turned out. As Theo, Collins is on the bombastic side, and a bit of a conman.
Amanda Morales makes the transition from Nan, the serious, married, suburban mother of two in Act I, to the unconventional madcap Lina in Act II.
“Three Days of Rain” marks the community theatre directing debut for Kelby Siddons. She is from Jacksonville but just came back last year, after studying playwriting at Northwestern University, and having her original plays staged in New York, Houston and Milwaukee. Kelby has impressed us with her acting talents as well, in Player’s “Merchant of Venice” and 5 & Dime’s “Fahrenheit 451.” Her theatre talents don’t end there as Ms. Siddons also designed the set for this show.
Players is discovering new talents everywhere, including Brooks Studier as Stage Manager, Brian Grant as Production Manager and Lindsay Curry as Costumier.
Our only suggestion concerns the rain sound effects used at various points. The rain seemed to be too loud and made it difficult to hear the dialogue at times. And on one occasion when the sound indicated hard rain, an actor went outside but didn’t appear wet; it would have been good to have the rain stop for a couple of minutes.
If you enjoy theatre that challenges you, you will be well rewarded by “Three Days of Rain.” The acting is superb and the direction excellent. Don’t miss this unique theatre adventure.
THREE DAYS OF RAIN
by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM