A STEADY RAIN - THE BROADWAY SMASH HIT BY KEITH HUFF, 2ND EXTENSION! AUG 4-20
John Kirby Studio
Opens: June 2, 2017
Closes: August 20, 2017
A dark dialogue filled with sharp storytelling and biting repartee. A Steady Rain explores the complexities of a lifelong bond tainted by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey and Denny have been best friends since kindergarten and after working together for several years as policemen in Chicago, they are practically family; Joey helps out with Denny’s wife and kids; Denny keeps Joey away from the bottle. But when a domestic disturbance call takes a turn for the worse, their friendship is put on the line. The result is a harrowing journey into a moral gray area where trust and loyalty struggle for survival against a sobering backdrop of pimps, prostitutes and criminal lowlifes.
"The tension ratchets up as the play speeds to its conclusion. The story is told in monologues and in some present moment dialogue. DeBard and Hoff never let up on the intensity of their performances and the result is a testosterone fueled evening of dynamic quality theatre. Kudos to all involved."
"This conventional but tightly woven script, with themes of loyalty and self-destruction, is given full life with nuanced performances by R.J. DeBard as the hot-tempered but gregarious Denny, and Andy Hoff as the calm and thoughtful Joey."
"WHAT I LIKED The acting in this show is superb. The movement of the piece, the pacing and the transitions through performance were so strong. I could watch these actors all day long. The intensity both men brought to the piece was profound and had me engaged for the entire show…Truly wonderful, gut wrenching, thoughtfully and heart breaking performances. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I was so engaged with the acting, that I felt that the bold lighting, projection and set was a distraction. I would have loved more simplicity. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Amazing. It’s so obvious the very clear and detailed work that the actors have put into this show."
"WHAT I LIKED Best show I’ve seen so far at the Fringe. The 2 characters had such a believable best-friend connection. Yes cops, but true for any 2 guys that had grown up together. I was transported to a working class suburb of Chicago- and, it could have been anywhere. The play itself is funny, provocative, heart breaking and sometimes all that at once. The night I saw it, you could hear a pin drop, people were so into it. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Wish they had more space on stage. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION A socially relevant, powerful evening- go see it."
"R. J. DeBard and Andy Hoff create characters of depth and detail, of passion and heart. Their action together is one of non-stop fluidity that surges with palpable emotion. They are entirely believable, and play their roles with an astonishing intimacy. The playwright’s script is nothing short of brilliant. The words flow in a torrent and the action, performed by two actors at the top of their game, deserve all the superlatives that can be mustered. Hackneyed as they are, the terms gripping, riveting, compelling, absorbing, are not sufficient to describe the affect on an audience. The action literally pulls the audience forward from their seats, elbows on knees. The astonishing duo of DeBard and Hoff deserves a run of months, if not years. See this show."
"WHAT I LIKED It is with great pleasure and full elation that I conduct this review of “A Steady Rain” at the John Kirby Studio. The play was fabulous, in every way. The acting was superb and thorough. This is the first play that I’ve seen John direct, and I was enthralled from lights up to lights down. The content of the play was moving, and interestingly enough, we found ourselves rooting for RJ’s character, broken as he was. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Sitting here, there aren’t many flaws to count in this production. Had there been more time to prepare, I suppose there could have been improvements on technical aspects of the show. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION The work that John’s students perform with his guidance is both graceful and inspiring. All in all, the play was wonderful from beginning to end. And I can’t wait to see it a second time."
"WHAT I LIKED The actors were spot on the entire time. The direction was brilliant and the small technical aspects really allowed you to feel as though you were in each of the scene spaces. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE MY OVERALL IMPRESSION This production was smart, gripping and perfectly timed. The actors were genuinely having a conversation with you and not at all seeming like characters, but real people, with a real life story to tell. The almost interrogation like setup was brilliant and worked so well with the audience and actors. I’m glad to have witnessed some truly fantastic theatre with this show."
"WHAT I LIKED I love the way the story was told. Very creative! WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I would love to see more shows at the John Kirby studio. No improvement needed, just want more shows to attend. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION This is a MUST see! The performances were powerful and the directing hit the mark!!! So moving…"
"An emotional and thought-provoking show that explores friendship, circumstance, and the human condition seemlessly. The chemistry between the two actors is impossible to ignore as they played their roles to perfection. So glad I saw this."
"WHAT I LIKED This play is, in a word, intense. Hey, it’s about a pair of Chicago cops….duh! And while we see a lot of cop shows on the big and little screens, this one on stage is unique in its approach. We see these two men relating to each other face to face…. and yet also speaking to the audience about each other. A tricky challenge, and it works! That’s thanks to RJ DeBard and Andy Hoff who portray the characters and director John Kirby who’s taken this former Broadway play in another direction. There’s humor, there’s conflict and mostly there’s the human dilemma of maintaining friendship amidst growing rivalry. Adding to the production values: interesting video projection and good sound effects. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE That it’s not at a major venue in LA so more people can see it! MY OVERALL IMPRESSION This could be the jumping off point to the heretofore unknowns: RJ DeBard and Andy Hoff. While Keith Huff’s play is compelling, these two actors bring it to life."
"FRIENDS! Actors, storytellers, and all around enjoyment seakers, YOU MUST SEE THIS SHOW! I was wow-ed last night by what these boys brought to the stage last night when I went to see Steady Rain, brilliantly directed by John Kirby... The simple and precise use of the stage and sound lent itself to nothing short than a captivated night that was filled with riveting performances that kept me on the edge of my seat at every scene and Act change. Intermission could not end quickly enough so I could re-emmerge into the OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES by R.J. DeBard and Andy Hoff. I have NEVER seen an audience more eager to LEAP to our feet to appluad such Powerful Performances. The energy was tangible and every beat perfectly executed. One of the very best theater experiences I have ever been blesssed to see. Definitely here in LA. Congratulations boys: I could not have been more proud to have taken a part of your generousity on stage. HATS OFF TO YOU."
"This is theater at its best potential: emotional, thoughtful, humorous and very, very sad. Go. Stay. Enjoy. And be prepared to weep on the way home."
"Denny (R.J. DeBard), the “bad cop,” is an explosive, out-of-control bully. Joey, the “good cop” (played by Andy Hoff in a consistently supportive and self-effacing manner) takes the brunt of Denny’s bullying, both physical and emotional, turns a blind eye to his partner’s misdemeanors, and covers for him with police officials and with Denny’s wife Connie. Which makes him not always the “good” cop."
"We have the director John Kirby to thank for the pacing, blocking, and for bringing such fine performances from these two talented actors. The set design by Mike Flannery was exactly what was needed to tell the story, not to much, not too little. Special mention to the lighting design by Donny Jackson, the sound design by Aaron Lyons and the projection design by Nick Santiago. This dream team should also include the producers Nathan Nesbitt and Andy Hoff."
"WHAT I LIKED The petformances are phenomenal. Highly recomend it. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I dont Believe I have a negative critique for this show MY OVERALL IMPRESSION The play was very well casket and masterfully directed by John Kirby"
"WHAT I LIKED The acting, directing, and sound design were perfect. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE The lighting design was too obvious at times, but at other times greatly added to the intensity of the moments. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Compellingly acted, intensly and perfectly directed, A Steady Rain is a show that will stick with you for days. RJ Debard and Andy Hoff hook you from the moment the play begins, and you’re glued to this wild ride until the unsettling end."
"WHAT I LIKED Wow, what a sincere look into the human condition and the ways law enforcement deal with it inside and out. Intense, real and well done. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE You really want to see all the characters involved but the cops play off each other so well that it works. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION You couldn’t help but struggle w the characters as they portrayed the tangling grit of crime and undoing."
"WHAT I LIKED I liked how both actors were the narrator – describing the other guy – IT was interesting to see the’ world through 2 sets of eyes — & suicide towards end actually surprised me WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE could of been held in a bigger theater MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Both actors gave absolutely everything EVERYTHING audience was floored standing ovation ;) ;)"
"WHAT I LIKED The script was excellent and the Actors made it even better The Direction was Beautiful. Every moment was realized Loved both Actors WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I really didn’t see much need for improvement it could have been edited 10 minutes but the Director and Actors made it all work. You could tell they really put the time in to have a polished production MY OVERALL IMPRESSION It was compelling At the edge of my seat the whole show I love to go to theater and feel so involved"
"WHAT I LIKED You are not going to see a more intense and perfectly matched pair of actors than R.J. DeBard and Andy Hoff doing what they are born to do. A Steady Rain starts out innocent enough with great lines delivered with perfect comic timing. The tension just starts to build without you even realizing it. Before you know it, you’re swept up in the action, which is where you’ll stay until the final curtain. Brilliantly directed by John Kirby, this is one of the “must see” events at this years Fringe Festival! WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Too Short MY OVERALL IMPRESSION “A Steady Rain” at Hollywood Fringe is, in a word, intense. Hey, it’s about a pair of Chicago cops….duh! And while we see a lot of cop shows on the big and little screens, this one on stage is unique in its approach. We see these two men relating to each other face to face…. and yet also speaking to the audience about each other. A tricky challenge, and it works! That’s thanks to RJ DeBard and Andy Hoff who portray the characters and director John Kirby who’s taken this former Broadway play in another direction. There’s humor, there’s conflict and mostly there’s the human dilemma of maintaining friendship amidst growing rivalry. Adding to the production values: interesting video projection and good sound effects. Don’t miss it!"
"The brotherhood and bond between these two lifetime friends is simply unbreakable… Denny (DeBard) lives on the edge, patrols and maintains civilian peace, in the most “unethical” way. He transitions steadily and his conflicted character transcends. Denny is volatile, explosive, and unpredictable. His performance kept the audience captivated. His wide acting range was phenomenal. Joey (Hoff) is straight laced and watches the turmoil unfold from the sidelines. He is sensible and poised, and what I would consider a “typical cop.” He is also deeply conflicted and battles his own inner demons. Hoff’s execution was brilliant and believable. The direction by John Kirby and execution of this piece was exceptional… Bravo! “A Steady Rain” is a MUST-SEE Be prepared to laugh, shed lots of tears, and be blown away!"
"WHAT I LIKED The actors delivered one of the best performances I have ever seen in small theater. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE MY OVERALL IMPRESSION From top to bottom, from acting to script, this is a great show."
"WHAT I LIKED I liked the overall directorial vision. The actors were committed and knew who they were. The sound/light design were effective in telling the story as well. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE The yelling was, at times, a little much. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Strong choices made by actors. Small space used intelligently."
"WHAT I LIKED Captivating performances by Andy Hoff and R.J. DeBard kept me riveted to the story. When Denny pointed his service revolver at me and told me to get face down on the ground with my hands behind my head, I could barely remain in my seat. Great performances like this are the reason that live theater exists and continues to entertain throughout the ages. I would have liked to observe director John Kirby’s work with the actors during the development of this staging. The emotional intricacies of these characters had to require hours of collaborative work. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Over the past few years, I favor supporting new works at Hollywood Fringe Festival. This decade old play that was inspired by events that took place nearly two decades earlier remains relevant but felt a bit dated to me. My mind wanted to draw more connections to the policing issues faced today. This isn’t really a “didn’t like”, it’s more of a “would have liked”. The script is amazing. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Dramatic perfection. Acting, directing and writing that exceeds expectation."
"WHAT I LIKED This show is full of traps for actors. RJ DeBard and Andy Hoff avoided every last one of them. There has to be a commitment and energy to this two man show that relies on memory and the telling of the same story. The intensity must be there. At the same time we need to see the actors listening to each other and seeing other characters and places etc. and more importantly feeling moments. It’s about what isn’t said. This is also credit to the director. It moves when it has to and slows down when it needs to. Even though the plot is straight forward I never tried to jump ahead because I was so interested in the now. Mr. DeBard truly opens the play with clarity and intensity…I cannot tell you how many shows I have seen where the actors need 15 minutes to warm up. That is too late…not in this show! Mr. Hoff is adept at taking a moment looking out and you can see many gears turning and feel so many things. Both a treat to watch. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE All picayune that is probably credited to first preview. The lockers are precarious and could be moved against the wall since they are barely used. Some blackouts have no music and are a bit too long but these are all things that only the opening night audience would see. One bit of sitting on the ground staging that blocks the actors from 80% of audience. I trust these will be ironed out. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION This is an important show. If you think you are having a bad day then go see this show. Issues of race and class and family and friendship all in one show. It makes you look into your life and notice that things aren’t so bad. It is rare to find two actors that connect and work hard at not working too hard. Theatre is about moments. We go to the theatre to see moments. And this production has many more than most shows. Go see it."
"WHAT I LIKED I thought it was clever the way the play could be done with just 2 people. I thought the 2 actors were exceptional. I thought the Directing of the Show was also exceptional the way it was done. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE Not being in the acting profession, I don’t have anything constructive to say. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION I thought it was excellent !!!!"
"WHAT I LIKED A tour-de-force on acting! This is a gut wrenching performance, by 2 very talented actors. This is a must see show. Top Knot Films WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE The acting was so strong it didn’t require a set. 2 actors with 2 chairs giving powerful performances was all that was needed. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION This is a must see show."
"WHAT I LIKED Heavy duty and brilliantly rich play. Great acting and directing. Shook me to the core. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE MY OVERALL IMPRESSION The piece is so well rehearsed and fully realized. Seems a shame there aren’t more performances. The actors really have done such deep and evolved work."