The Boho Theatre Company is presenting a delightful staging of Richard Greenburg’s “Three Days of Rain” in its cozy and tiny space at the Heartland Studio, 7016 Glenwood Ave., in Chicago. The play won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998. Derek Van Barham directs a charming and charismatic cast with Kyle Curry, Kate Black-Spence and Niko Kourtis.
It was done previously at the Steppenwolf Theatre featuring Tracy Letts, Amy Morton and Ian Barford and directed by Anna D. Shapiro in 1999.
Walker (Curry) and his sister Nan (Black-Spence)meet in New York 1995 for the reading of their father’s will. Their father, Ned Janeway, was an architect who built the “Janeway House” among many other buildings with his partner, Theo Wexler. Theo’s son, Pip (Kourtis), also attends the reading. Now the stage is set for an interesting story spanning 35 years of how the three reached this time period.
At the reading, Walker and Nan are each bequeathed financial security. However, the Janeway House is left to Pip. Walker, a wandering sort, is devastated as he was looking to live in the house and finally set down some roots. In his father’s Manhattan studio office, he finds Ned’s journal. The journal, which opens with the entry, “1960 April 3-5. Three days of rain”, holds the secret to the past. Walker elects to burn the journal and leave the past in the ashes of days gone by.
In Act Two, the cast portrays their older counterparts and takes the audience back to the studio office in 1960. The backlog of the story begins to form. We now meet a rather nerdy Ned (Curry), his slick partner, Theo (Kourtis), and, the very sexy southern belle Lina (Black-Spence), Walker and Nan’s mother. At this time, Lina is involved in a fiery relationship with Theo. Following a professional disagreement with Ned over the design of a house, Theo goes off to recharge his mind. And, of course, while Theo is away, Ned confesses his love for Lina and the future is drawn. They play ends where the story begins.
Greenberg has carefully crafted three characters allowing them to meticulously intermingle with each other forming an explosive and emotional interlocking puzzle. And this sterling cast delivers. They easily segue from the current generation to the previous one giving Greenberg’s characters the depth and sensitivity he intended.
Curry is scattered as the aimless Walker and convincingly geeky portraying his father, Ned. Black-Spence is calm and collected as Nan and equally as needy and very alluring portraying the irresistible Lina. Kourtis is handsome, charming and magnetic as Pip/Theo. The trio is perfectly cast and the Boho production staff effectively compliments their performances in the tight space with an economy of set design.
Despite running a bit long at two hours and 20 minutes, it doesn’t wear thin. The cast hold the audience captive with Greenberg’s well written dialog and story. It’s a four star performance , one for each actor and one for Greenberg’s script.
“Three days of Rain” continues at the Boho through June 25. For tickets and information, call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.BoHoTheatre.com.
Curtain call: Kate Black-Spence makes her Boho Theatre debut in “Three Days of Rain”. She is an ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre (“Rabbit”) and has worked with Cor Theatre (“Love and Human Remains”), Infusion Theatre (“Allotment Annie”) and Babes with Blades (“180 Degree Rule”).
Black-Spence always raises the level of any play she is cast. But for all actors there is an audition process. I asked her how she chooses her roles. “You don’t,” she responded. “Although I hope to get the ones I’m most excited about.”
The Boho production shows good chemistry among the cast. Black-Spence, Kyle Curry and Niko Kourtis make a good match on stage.
“It’s impossible for one person to create that,” she said. “(Derek Van Barham) worked really hard with us. During the rehearsals you create relationships by sharing experiences.”
That hard work pays dividends here at the Boho.