Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Complex family mysteries saturate JTC's 'Three Days of Rain'

Evidently we have the Jewel Theatre Company to thank for the much-needed downpour last week. There must have been some sympathetic juju involved in JTC opening a play called Three Days of Rain just when Santa Cruz needed it most!

 The phrase in the title, besides being at the top of everyone's weather wish-list for the past two months, turns out to have special significance within the context of the play itself, a generational drama about family, secrets, and destiny.

As the action plays out in two different time periods, the simple phrase "Three days of rain" becomes emblematic of the way the generations are fated to misinterpret and misunderstand each other. The phrase that one character dismisses as "a weather report," turns out to have much deeper, even life-changing significance for another.

Written by contemporary playwright Richard Greenberg and first produced in 1997, the Pulitzer-nominated Three Days of Rain grapples with the impact of parents on their offspring, intentional or otherwise, and the many ways that future plans for one's children can go awry. What's interesting is that the play begins in the present day, with adult children coping, literally and metaphorically, with the legacy of the past.

It's not until Act Two, when the action shifts backwards in time 30 years, that we begin to piece together the real story that the children will never completely understand.

Along the way, Greenberg spins his yarn with plenty of tart observations and wisecracks, handled with typical aplomb by JTC's excellent three-person cast—Stephen Muterspaugh, Julie James, and Aaron Walker—and briskly staged by director Bill Peters. (Read more)

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