We’ll confess, before we saw Three Days of Rain, we quite literally expected to see Three. Days. Of. Rain. And we were not disappointed.
But Ell Katte’s production gave us much more than the sweet smell of rain on a New York sidewalk. Separated only by a few bricks to represent a wall, the audience became privy to life’s messiest and most intimate moments — anxiety attacks, sibling squabbles and illicit love affairs.
Split into two acts and cleverly riddled with parallels despite being decades apart, the play manages to constantly remind us about what could have been, what actually happened and what we dream of for ourselves. In the first act we come to know Walker (Dominic Scarf) and Nan (Dani Maher) who discover their late father, Ned’s diary (or journal in boy-language) in which the first entry reads simply: “Three days of rain.” In the second act we are transported back to the sixties (complete with serenade from dreamboat Theo (Michael Smith)) to uncover what happened during those days of downpour.
But the play presents us with a series of questions rather than answers, and perhaps this is what makes it so brilliant.
Love is messy, private, and ephemeral. The intense love we see between Ned and Lina in Act 2 has long disappeared by the 90s and their intricate meet-cute story of “three days of rain” has been misconstrued as a mere weather report by their children. Love only survives when it is nestled away from the storm and the world outside.
The play begs the question, what is the line between success and failure, and how do we get there? Pressure does not make diamonds (sorry Iggy) but produces mind-numbing and horrific anxiety. Failure is only failure if we don’t try or if we pretend to be successful in the first place. True success is a combination of letting go, luck and a little bit of help from the right person (the happy-go-lucky, Zelda-Fitzgerald-esque Lina in this case). The play exhibits the reality of anxiety as a hindrance to this success, but Dominic Scarf conducts a meaningful and real performance that should be commended.
As an audience, we have a sense that we come to know and not know everything. Everything comes full circle in an almost cliché meant-to-be scenario that gives us an odd sense of comfort in our mid-semester blues. If just a spot of rain can lead to a romance and the creation of an architectural wonder then perhaps we’ll all just be alright. It leaves us with the comfort of never knowing.