Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron

A Steady Rain
none too fragile theater
Review by David Ritchey

Also see David's review of Waitress


Tony Zanoni and Chris Richards
Photo by Brian Kenneth Armour
Keith Huff's A Steady Rain had a successful run on Broadway in 2009 with a starry cast (Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig) and has played across the U.S. and around the world steadily in the years since. Huff's film adaptation of the play has been under development for several years.

The plot for A Steady Rain might have been lifted from local newspapers, dealing with police brutality, criminal brutality and the slow mental breakdown of a policeman who has lost his moral compass. It is a 90-minute, one-act play.

Chicago police detectives Joey (Chris Richards) and Denny (Tony Zanoni) have known each other most of their lives. Denny begins an emotional decline as he faces the fact that he killed an innocent child, and Joey tries to rescue his friend from this tragic decline. Huff doesn't give the audience any relief from the intensity of the situation, in part by giving each of the men significantly long monologues. Occasionally, the men have dialogue, but most of the dialogue provides necessary transitions.

Being responsible for a child's death destroys Denny's life, as he thinks only of being responsible for an innocent person's death. Was the killing his police duty or was it murder? Zanoni takes his character slowly and deliberately down to a place from which he cannot recover. Toward the end of the play, Zanoni sits on the floor, his body knotted and he has no place left to go. Joey watches over Denny's family and hopes to find an escape for Denny; he doesn't think his friend is guilty for the child's death. But Joey didn't kill the child. Denny did.

The bare set is the plan of the playwright. Huff wants the stage to be bare except for two chairs, moved around to provide the actors new locations.

Director Robert Ellis has appeared as an actor in none too fragile productions of The Whale and God of Carnage. Here, he helps the actors provide variety in the long monologues written for each. With only two actors, the production could be mighty dull. Yet, Ellis brings the actors in turn out of the shadows and into the audience's spotlight, making the characters and their lives fascinating.

none too fragile theater's A Steady Rain plays through November 11, 2017, with performance Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at Pub Bricco, 1835 Merriman Road, Akron OH. For tickets and information, call 330-962-5547 or visit nonetoofragile.com.

Playwright: Keith Huff
Joey: Chris Richards
Denny: Tony Zanoni
Stage Manager: Brian Kenneth Armour
Set Construction: Sean Derry and Ireland Derry
Lighting Design: Marcus Dana
Sound Design: Brian Kenneth Armour
Costume Design: Frank C. Comunale
Director: Robert Ellis


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