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Hub Theatre - Three Days Rain - Looking at the Human Condition

The Hub Theatre of Boston's 2nd season opens with Richard Greenberg's play, "Three Days of Rain."  Playing weekends through April 19, the play is ostensibly about a dysfunctional family but twists the plot into a statement - or question - about ourselves.  The acting is superb and the play complex and maintains your interest, curiosity and intellectual questioning.  Hub Theatre's production is a must-see for excellent literature and excellent acting. At First Church of Boston in the Back Bay.

For More Information and Tickets http://www.hubtheatreboston.org

Hub Theatre of Boston First impressions are wrong 60% of the time. So are attempts at understanding or explaining other people. Tony Award winning playwright Richard Greenberg in his "Three Days of Rain" creates a template of a dysfunctional family which the audience has an opportunity to witness and explore as the play unfolds.

More than a frightening painting, with distorted faces and hash slinging, Mr. Greenberg's play is a mystery about the human condition. Not a murder mystery or a "whodunit" but rather a question into what lies behind the closed curtain.  The play is intriguing as a poetic look at human relationships that provides the actors with the challenge of making it real.

Perhaps some members of the audience would find the voyeuristic view of the play dynamics sufficient. Yet, what unfolds are characters with too much depth to assume this capable playwright would choose to unfold a story with no more meaning than what you can see with the naked eye.

Acting and Character Development

"Three Days of Rain," on its own, is stunning with three characters whose lives interconnect and are shaped by each other but whose personalities are as different as the contrast of champagne, a fine wine and dark ale.

Hub Theatre's Three Days of Rain Hub Theatre's Three Days of Rain Hub Theatre's Three Days of Rain

The most complex character is Walker, the son of the famous architect Edmund Janeway.  Actor John Geoffrion's ability to convey Walker's inner roller-coaster ride condition reminds us of the agility of a cat to change form from fully extended to curling itself into a ball.  Throughout the play, he gestures his insecurity and indecision by caressing his bald head as if it were his favorite pet (cat) and moves quickly from upright to some form of fetal rest.  Greenberg gives Walker the vocabulary of a brilliant madman dwelling in a world that no one else can see.

Imagining she understands her brother, Nan, played by the beautiful actress, Marty Seeger Mason, suffers the crucifixion of caring deeply about him while writing him off.  And she has her own secret desires to know more about the past which she publicly scoffs.

Pip, the son of the architect's partner Theo, is ostensibly the most superficial character as he swoons and manipulates the truth, or is that itself just an impression?  Tim Hoover wears this character well leaving you lost as you look at him through a kaleidoscope of statements that don't seem quite truthful.

The playwright has constructed a framework and the intrigue of dysfunctionality but that appears not to be his intent.  At the conclusion of Act I, your comfort level and intimate perception of the characters have changed from superficial to knowing them as personal friends. A good playwright can do this, must do this. The delivery, set strongly on the shoulders of the actors, appears to be Hub Theatre's finest quality - their ability in acting, stage handling and lighting - to deliver a complex story believably with emotion and empathy.

Act II is the Revelation

Act II is such a surprise.  While you imagine it will be a continuation of the plot development, what more is there to say about these characters?  The answer lies with a return to the question of "understanding."  The play and you, a member of the audience, have already determined the nature of the past - what events and people have shaped the characters on stage.

Act II is the revelation that the diamond you thought was blue is, in fact, the color white. More than that, it is the upheaval that declares the diamond to be false and rumors, innuendo and your opinion to be irrelevant.  It was such a pleasure to watch Walker become his father, Nan to become her mother and Pip to become his father, Theo.  No opening narrator announces the change. If you walked in late, you were lost and you night wonder how the characters could have changed so much. 

Act II is the mystery revealed, with the libelous assumptions about Walker's father laid to rest.  As if we were looking indiscreetly into a past that ordinarily would lie hidden, the journal, the truth, burned into oblivion is turned upside down.  The window to the past is marked "boarded up.  And it is good this happens as the real truth lies elsewhere.

The Hub Theatre's "Three Days of Rain" is a must-see for anyone who is reflecting on the nature of reality and the extent to which the past is as deeply buried as the bodies they once wore.    Richard Greenberg's play is superb while Daniel Bourque's direction brings the best to the stage in the acting.

For More Information and Tickets http://www.hubtheatreboston.org

Posted: April 8, 2014     Nancy J Conrad

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