Whether or not you’re a fan of Richard Greenberg (“Take Me Out”), it’s easy to appreciate the interesting premises on which he builds his plays.
This time out, in Las Vegas Little Theatre’s “Three Days of Rain,” a brother (Tony Blosser), sister (Erica Griffin) and childhood friend (Brandon McClenahan) have gathered to deal with the estate of their business partnering fathers.
We find out a lot about the three people and their families, but the big surprises come in the second act when the story takes us back to the 1960s and the same three actors play the two fathers and one of the mothers. In a Rosebud-type ending, we find out the real meaning of an obscure reference in a journal (“three days of rain”), and how the relationships are not at all as they had seemed.
It’s a quiet play, full of interesting observation, that speaks with an often understated eloquence.
Director T.J. Larsen has a tendency toward overkill, and the script is sometimes too soft, too emotionally slight, to withstand it. He does, though, realize a major performance by Griffin. She plays a very sane woman in the first act and is transformed into a Tennessee Williams-style neurotic in the second. In both cases, Griffin exhibits strong groundings that make her impossible not to watch. Your eyes are on her every thought, and her unaffected but lilting voice makes Greenburg sound like the Williams he is not.
Larsen runs into trouble, though, with the two males. Blosser has spectacularly bad posture. He’s the sort of performer who seems to think acting is all about the face. His sloppy carriage greatly limits the roles he’s suitable for. And McClenahan — who always comes across as a hefty, slightly inebriated redneck — is not physically right for the “golden boy” he’s supposed to be.
Larsen and Ron Lindblom’s set is especially appealing, since it is an attractive and believable rendition of an unattractive home. John Beane’s lighting gives the action an ethereal feel that heightens the drama.
I was struck by Greenberg’s tale, and maybe more importantly, by Griffin’s mystery. I always wanted to know more about her than the play was telling me. And that’s a good sign.
Anthony Del Valle can be reached at DelValle@aol.com. You can write him c/o Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125.REVIEW
What: “Three Days of Rain”
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays (through April 13)
Where: Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive
Tickets: $19-$22 (362-7996)