Updated: Oct 18, 2022
by Paul Atreides
The Drought is Over.
It’s tough enough trying to recover from the CV-19 pandemic and trying to entice audiences back into theatres. Compound that with the difficult task of trying to get your audience to follow you to a new space.
That’s what A Public Fit is facing with their new season opening with Three Days of Rain, a Pulitzer-nominated play by Richard Greenberg. Having lost its space at Fremont and Maryland Parkway, the company is now producing in the Super Summer Theatre (SST) Studio space.
That alone adds another burden: The learning curve of how the new space “works,” figuring out the logistics of staging and adapting to tech equipment, not to mention the acoustics. Directors Ann-Marie Pereth and Joseph D. Kucan have done an admirable job in tackling all of those things.
“In the eye of the beholder” is used for many things. It’s all individual perspectives. Children rarely know what made their parents tick or why they made the decisions they did. Siblings Walker and Nan and childhood friend Pip all contrive their perceptions against their parents’ realities.
Greenberg’s play is a bit of a psychological black comedy. For all of the angst going on within the characters as they try to figure out themselves and what effect their parents’ lives had on them, there are some lighthearted moments and some laugh-out-loud lines.
A standout performance turned in by Andrew Calvert is alone worth the price of admission. His Walker is at once manic and downtrodden with all the physical accouterments of each as he strides in excitement one moment and droops in dejection the next. His Ned, in Act Two, becomes shy and self-effacing, the physical again expressing emotion as much as the verbal. Calvert is in it 100 percent and taking us along for the ride.
It’s always a pleasure to see such creative, out-of-the-box work done in a small space. Eric A. Koger’s set of the Lower Manhattan studio loft apartment is excellent as it swivels and transforms from 1990’s abandonment in Act One to the 1960’s living quarters and architectural business of the fathers.
Due to the placement of the grid in the SST studio space, lighting angles can be extremely steep and, at times, put the actors in severe shadow. Yet, overall, Jody (Johannah) Caley’s lighting is beautiful, lending a sometimes surreal atmosphere.
Though it could have been a directorial decision, the biggest technical glitch for me comes with Alan Holton’s sound. During the titular Act Two, there were long periods of time when the sound ceased altogether rather than alternating between heavy downpours and soft-pattering rain.
It rarely rains in the desert. You won’t want to miss this one. I promise you will not leave cold and wet. Go experience this long-awaited and delicious return of A Public Fit.
What: Three Days of Rain
When: 7 p.m. Friday - Monday; 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov 7
Where: 4340 S. Valley View Blvd, Suite 210
Tickets: $35 - $40 (www.apublicfit.org)
Grade: **** Delicious
Producer: A Public Fit; Artistic Director: Ann-Marie Pereth; Producing Director: Joseph D. Kucan; Directors: Ann-Marie Pereth, Joseph D. Kucan; Set Design: Eric A. Koger; Lighting Design: Jody (Johannah) Caley; Sound Design: Alan Holton; Costume Design: Kendra Faith; Production Stage Manager: Brandi Blackman