Daniel Deorksen and David Newham mark the 10th anniversary of Seven Tyrants Theatre with gritty drama A Steady Rain

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A Steady Rain | Seven Tyrants Theatre | The Penthouse Studio Theatre | February 16 – March 3, 2018

Two Chicago cops, a lifelong friendship, and plenty of rain. Seven Tyrants co-founders Daniel Deorksen and David Newham star in this gritty drama directed by Bill Devine and written by Mad Men and House of Cards writer Keith Huff. The Broadway production had Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in the leading roles.

Joey (Deorksen) and Denny (Newham) have been best friends for as long as they can remember. They’re like family. In fact, Joey often sleeps on Denny’s couch, helps with his kids, and consoles his wife, Connie. He becomes a bit too close to Connie, and this, coupled with a horrific mistake on the job, drives a wedge between them. They each have their own problem: Joey is a lonely recovering alcoholic and Denny accepts bribes, struggles to contain his racism and cheats on Connie with a prostitute.

Based on an event involving Jeffrey Dahmer, the climax involves the two police officers handing a young Vietnamese boy over to a cannibalistic serial killer who claims to be his uncle. Distracted by his obsession with solving who shot a bullet through his living room window, Denny’s attitude is to take matters into his own hands without waiting for the detectives to solve the case. He ignores all else and drives Connie and Joey away.

Alternating between present-day scenes and monologues from each character, the play is riveting right from the first words. These two characters are so well-written and Deorksen and Newham have such great chemistry that they completely drew us into their complex world. The intimate space of the Penthouse Studio Theatre was just the right size to make us feel as though we were sitting at the kitchen table with Joey and Denny.

What a wonderful way to mark the 10th anniversary of their theatre company starring together in this intense, fast-paced production. Immersing us in the language, attitudes, and mood of the Chicago streets, Deorksen and Newham were a joy to watch.   

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