Jeff Perry Directs Odyssey Theatre's A STEADY RAIN, Opening Tonight
Steppenwolf Theatre co-founder Jeff Perry (Scandal) directs the Los Angeles premiere of a riveting drama by Keith Huff (Mad Men, House of Cards) that will have audiences on The Edge of their seats. A Steady Rain opens tonight, Feb. 22 at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. for an eight-week run through April 20.
Filled with sharp storytelling and biting repartee, A Steady Rain is a gritty, darkly poetic duologue about two Chicago police officers whose inner need to serve and protect consumes them - and also rips them apart. Thomas Vincent Kelly (Bedfellows for The New American Theatre, King Lear for Antaeus) and Sal Viscuso (Clybourne Park at Portland Center Stage, Father Timothy Flotsky on ABC's Soap) star as partners on the force whose lifelong friendship is put to the test when a deadly error of judgment sends their lives spinning out of control.
"Keith has created an inexorable tragedy that's very Shakespearean about two guys who have the best of intentions," says Perry. "The narrative emerges out of a chaotic stewpot of events, yet it's all perfectly clear and highly authentic. It's a beautiful thing - a very sophisticated, deft and unique piece of storytelling."
Initially produced by Chicago Dramatists in 2007 and then at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago in 2008, A Steady Rain won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. In 2009 it opened on Broadway in a production that starred Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig and broke box office records. Time magazine named A Steady Rain one of the Top 10 Plays of 2009, noting that "Huff's taut, tough-minded script takes potentially clichéd material - the moral challenges faced by cops on the urban mean streets - and makes it fresh and compelling."
"I wrote A Steady Rain along with two other plays, a kind of a loose trilogy of Chicago cop plays," said Huff in an interview. "When you see these genres play out on film or TV, there's almost a prescribEd Morality that they're handing you. I wanted to take those established genres and thread through them the moral obverse of what we're used to seeing. In my trilogy, sometimes the good guys are the bad guys, and vice-versa."
Keith Huff has written the film adaptation of A Steady Rain for Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (EON Films); original pilots for HBO, Steven Spielberg/Dreamworks TV and AMC; and was writer/co-producer for Season One of the NetFlix series House of Cards, featuring Kevin Spacey, and Season 4 of AMC's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series Mad Men, for which he won a 2011 Writers Guild Award (Best Drama Series). Other plays include Big Lake Big City, The Detective's Wife, Pursued By Happiness, and The Bird and Mr. Banks. A Steady Rain continues to be produced across the US and around the world, including in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela. Huff has an MFA from the University of Iowa's Playwright's Workshop, is a Resident Alumnus at Chicago Dramatists, and is the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award, the Cunningham Prize, the John Gassner Award, the Berrilla Kerr Award, and three Illinois Arts Council Playwriting Fellowships.
Perhaps best known as White House chief of staff Cyrus Beene on ABC's Scandal, Jeff Perry is a co-founder of Chicago's internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre, The School at Steppenwolf, Steppenwolf Classes West and Steppenwolf Films. Directing credits at Steppenwolf include Educating Rita (in Chicago and Off Broadway), The Hothouse, The Homecoming, Little Egypt (world premiere) and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Acting credits at Steppenwolf include Uncle Vanya, August Osage County (also N.Y., London, Sydney), Balm in Gilead (also Off-Broadway), The Time of Your Life (also Seattle, San Francisco), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (world premiere), The Grapes of Wrath (also Broadway and London), The Caretaker (also Broadway) and Streamers (also Kennedy Center).
Set and video design for A Steady Rain are by Adam Flemming, lighting design is by Michael Gend and sound design is by John Zalewski.
Performances of A Steady Rain take place on Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Feb. 22 through April 20 (dark April 10-13; on Sunday, Feb. 23 only, the performance will be at 5 p.m. with no 2 p.m. matinee). Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on March 19 and April 2, and on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on March 27 and April 17. Tickets are $25 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and $30 on Saturdays and Sundays, except for the opening night performance on Saturday, Feb. 22 which is $45 and includes a gala reception with the actors. There will be three pay-what-you-can performances on Feb. 28, March 21 (wine night) and April 2.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to www.OdysseyTheatre.com.