Friday, March 1, 2013

A Steady Rain by Keith Huff, A Chick and a Dude Productions at the Hyde Park Theatre, February 22 - March 9, 2013

A Steady Rain Keith Huff Chick and a Dude Productions Austin TX
Austin Live Theatre review

by Michael Meigs

Keith Huff imagines a dark, dark world for us, and Shanon Weaver's set design mirrors that. This is Chicago in grim weather. The bare stage has only a couple of banged up folding chairs and a table, and the stage walls are painted in vertical strips of greenish blue and black. It could be an interrogation room but really it's a barren nowhere, a place of the mind that one could just as easily imagine to be a menacing and oppressive jungle.

A Steady Rain doesn't need pretty. This is a work of words, images and animal energy. Kenneth Wayne Bradley and Tom Green are the only ones visible on this stage. They're a pair of cops who've known one another since grammar school, and who now are united in the grueling business of patrolling the city's seamy south side. The stage is their metaphorical cage; they've both taken the exam for promotion to detective three times, and they've both failed.

They're not the only inhabitants of this space. The story they tell, most of the time in alternate monologues, is peopled with others -- Rhonda the long-suffering wife of Denny (Bradley); a vengeful petty crook who ambushes Denny in an alley, and the crook's young nephew who lures Denny into it; Denny's bloodied and unresponsive young son; a naked and raving 9-year-old Vietnamese boy and the 'surfer-guy' who calmly takes custody of him; the unsympathetic precinct captain; and a couple of other cops who confront a desperate murderer armed with a service revolver.

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