Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Three Days of Rain"

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note: entire contents copyright 1999 by Alexander Wright

" Refreshing "Rain"
at SpeakEasy"

A Review by Beverly Creasey

"Three Days of Rain" by Richard Greenberg is billed as a psychological mystery but it really bears more of a resemblance to a romance novel, unfolding like an American version of "Masterpiece Theatre."

You slowly discover who was in love with whom a long time ago ... who had a secret affair with whom ... who is jealous of whom ... who might repeat an earlier mistake --- AND THAT'S ONLY IN ACT I. Then in act II Greenberg takes us back in time to meet the randy parents of the characters in act I. SO we discover who was in love with whom ... who ended up with whom ... and, most satisfying, why their children turned out in the distinct way they did.

Greenberg's tiny revelations (like the reason one father was so remote from his two children) are even more clever than THE BIG SECRET. If it weren't for the pretentious dialogue (a coincidence is called " a statistical exorbitance" and a conversation a "colloquy") "Three Days of Rain" would be a nifty play. Even with the lofty language it works pretty well. (Well, the end could have come twenty minutes sooner, but that's all the carping I'll do.)

You won't see better rain than Eric Levenson's exquisite down-pour --- with help from sound designer J. Hagenbuckle and shadowy lighting from John Malinowski. Talk about the sensual effect of water thundering down the windowpanes!

Director Eric Engel's production is plenty classy with compelling performances from Dennis Starr (as one of two famous architects --- and his son), Diego Arciniegas (as the other architect --- and his son), and Dee Nelson (as the mother --- and her daughter). But it's the rain that makes this production glisten.

"Three Days of Rain" (till 1 May)
Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide