It’s your typical cop movie, findable on the local channels. Two police officers claim to use their power for the good of the people, but find out how much easier it is to take matters into their own hands. Although we all can get this on our television for free, director Tazewell Thompson takes Keith Huff’s “A Steady Rain” and turns it into something worth paying for, or did he? The set is completely simple; as a matter of fact I must say it is very uncreative. There are two seats in the front and several are lined up in the back making two single rows.
In the far back and sides of the stage, there are blinds with cracks in it as if people have been peeping through them. No art work, not even a coffee table, just chairs and blinds surrounded the stage. It took a while but it hit me, it is an interrogation room. Now, the only thing I predict coming is be a waste of hard earn money and angry people in the audience asking for a refund. But when the two actors came out and started to talk to the audience as if we were a part of the act, it startled me and caught my attention.
I’m really in for the night of my life and if you were in my shoes, you’ll be to. This is definitely not your typical play; loyalty, friendship, and lives are at stake. Huff wants us to understand that it does not matter how long or how close you are with someone because in a split second they can betray you. This play did not provide a visual for less creative minds like myself. There was so much talking, storytelling, and current conversations, that I found myself lost through a couple of scenes such as the one where the random Vietnam boy shows up then gets eaten by some cannibalism.
Good thing for Denny’s (Aaron Roman Weiner) aggressive voice which always brought my attention back to the play. What’s not to love about Denny? He is an alcoholic racist Italian who takes the law into his own hands leaving his kindergarten best friend, Joey (Kyle Fabel), to cover for him. Joey seems like the nice loyal wise guy who you would assume has his life together, but in all it is just an image. Joey apparently has to live under Denny’s roof because he cannot control his liquor cravings. Denny believes that Joey’s craving is the reason he has yet to have the most valuable thing in life, a family.
Because Denny already has what Joey wants, he uses it against him by constantly reminding him who has what and who needs who which leads Joey to secretly wants to live the “successful” life of Denny. Denny’s vulgar ways makes him seem like he was the main character and as if the world evolve around him. He takes biblical quotes and twists the words around to support his crazy and in his own opinion, logical ideas. “It’s every man for himself and f–k your neighbor as you expect your neighbor to f–k unto you” (Huff 48).
His harsh words are so striking that it leaves the audience in suspense quietly waiting for his next action. While Denny seems to be the one in charge, Joey on the other hand, stumbles over a couple of words. He tries to figure out what would be the best path for him and Denny. He shows his loyalty to his partner in crime by always sticking around and keeping his mouth shut when it comes to the other police officers. It is not always easy for Joey to cover up for Denny who has a particular attitude. He says that he is a family man and family comes first.
However, he goes around sleeping with a prostitute, which in return creates conflict with the pimps, his job, and the safety of his family. Not even Saint Joey could save Denny from this situation because now both of their jobs are at stake. Denny will soon learn that all of his actions have consequences in which he is nowhere near prepared for. Are all his lies and his betrayal of the family he claims to protect worth it? Since Joey is living in Denny’s shadow, he believes that he is the one who should be taking care of the family.
His loyalty for Denny soon dies when he finds the perfect opportunity to have the family he’s been longing for. Joey is now speaking up for himself by telling Connie, Denny’s wife, all of Denny’s dirt. Joey even starts making moves on his best friend’s, since kindergarten, wife and is making future plans with his new family. Denny was right, it is every man for themselves. In this play, the two characters have their own unique personalities, but as the play progresses there is a lot of role and power switching that occurs during the rainy setting.
In Thomas Foster’s, Its More Than Just Rain or Snow, he shows the reason for why during the whole play it is raining. Foster says that rain sets the tone and it could mean potential danger is on its way or is already occurring. Throughout the play we can see destruction amongst friendship and when the play ends, the rain ends as if all the trouble has been washed away. Foster says, “So if you want a character to cleansed, symbolically, let him walk through the rain to get somewhere” (Foster 77).
It is fascinated to see the twist within each character and to observe how each of them develops. By doing this, Keith Huff displays loyalty and friendship, but slams you with betrayal. Huff wants us to take a look at the people who we are closest with because at any given moment they can and there is a great chance that they will betray you. With all the conflicts seen in the play, only one of the brothers will have their happy ending. It’s a shocking twist that I did not even see coming. It’s worth the money spent.