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Rain brings joy

Three Days of Rain

From left: Luke Sayler, Alyssa Kay and Fox Rain Matthews. Photo courtesy Harlequin Productions

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Harlequin Productions' latest offering is Three Days of Rain, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama by Richard Greenberg, author of Take Me Out.

In act one, 1995, Walker Janeway (Fox Rain Matthews) is staying in the apartment in New York where 35 years earlier his architect father, Ned, and Ned's partner, Theo, designed the house that made them famous. There, Walker searches for clues to the mystery of his father's life. He is joined by his sister, Nan (Alyssa Kay), and their childhood friend, Pip (Luke Sayler), who is Theo's son and is romantically linked to Nan. Volatile relationships ensue. The story begins as Nan and Walker's father's estate is being settled. Walker has discovered his father's hidden journal, which includes tantalizing clues to the past but little information, including the line "April 3-5, three days of rain," which intrigues Walker.

In act two, 1960, the same three actors each portray their own parents. They are in the same apartment, and among other things, we discover what happened during those mysterious three days.

I don't usually say this much about a plot, but without a clear picture of who's who, this one can be confusing. It helps that in act one each of the actors steps out of his or her role, but not out of character, to explain to the audience what is going on, from their point of view. Then in the second act, when such narration is no longer needed, we discover that nothing in 1960 was as these characters thought in 1995.

The three actors display a great range and depth of acting skills as they each become very different characters, all of whom are complex and multidimensional, including changes in accent and mannerisms.

Matthews and Kay, spouses off stage, portray convincing and entertaining love-hate relationships on stage. Sayler is returning to Olympia as an actor for the first time in over a decade performing in Seattle. Fellow actors and theater patrons who remember him from his youth will surely get a kick out of seeing what an accomplished and mature actor he has become.

The set by Jeannie Beirne, a grungy New York apartment with plaster-covered old brick walls and exposed pipes, is beautiful, and the lighting by Olivia Burlingame and sound by Gina Salerno create the dank atmosphere that carries the audience into the rain-soaked days in which the drama unfolds.

Three Days of Rain is another triumph for director Aaron Lamb. It is an emotion-charged drama laced with witty dialogue. It is recommended for mature audiences only.

THREE DAYS OF RAIN, 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, through May 26, State Theater, 202 4th Ave. E., Olympia, $35, senior/military $32, student/youth $20, 360.786.0151,

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