… a disturbing look at the consequences of bigotry, guns, and power, go see ‘A Steady Rain.’
Under the direction of David Dieudonné, who keeps the pace varied and the action clear, Ben Calman (Joey) and Christopher Tully (Denny) take their audience on a wild emotional ride through the lives of two less than ideal policemen.
A Steady Rain uses as its centerpiece the historical incident of the cannibalistic, yet suave, smooth talking blonde Jeffry Dahmer as he successfully convinces two Milwaukee police officers that the naked, bestraught and drugged Vietnamese boy is his lover. Dahmer will soon kill the 14-year-old of course. Although these officers are based in Chicago, Huff transplants the horrific incident to the Windy City.
The fiction that Huff swirls around this historical fact is littered with its own racism, sexism, and jealousy as the two officers, longtime friends and partners, struggle to make sense of a rapidly changing world, a world in which their bigotry has devastating side-effects.
Denny is the Alpha male, played with aggressive conviction by Tully. Denny is absolutely convinced that his worldview–no matter how perverted, self-centered and motivated–is being unjustly maligned by the PC world around him. He even asserts that his excessive illegal activity and extra-marital affairs are rooted in just causes. Tully’s willingness to fully enter Denny’s mindset brings the character to life in all its dynamism and disgust.
Denny’s partner, and longtime dominated sidekick Joey, played with passive good sense by Calman, is doing his best to change with the times, attending diversity training and anger management courses and trying dutifully to curb his racist speech patterns. His submissiveness continually gets the better of him, however; and he continually finds himself being pulled into Denny’s messes.
Huff’s play, a series of monologues and short dialogues between the two men, captures the stresses of these two officers’ friendship, as both struggle to define themselves despite their absence of direction. The deeper Denny sinks into his own masculinist nightmare, the closer Joey gets to betraying his Alpha friend for his own survival’s sake.
The sets, costumes, lights, and sound effects for A Steady Rain are kept simple and appropriate, with lighting design by Priscilla Precious Ann Porter and Sound editing by Kevin O’Connell.
For a disturbing look at the consequences of bigotry, guns, and power, go see A Steady Rain.
Running Time: 90 minute without intermission.
Advisory: Adult language and situations.
A Steady Rain plays at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street SE, Washington DC, through January 25. Click here for tickets and information.