Architect of dysfunction

Three Days of Rain

“Hold me.”

“Hold me.”

Photo by Yarcenia Garcia

Three Days of Rain; 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; $10. Big Idea Theater, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; Through September 12.
Rated 4.0

Siblings Walker (Eric Baldwin) and Nan (Beth Edwards) are the central figures in Richard Greenberg’s engrossing drama, Three Days of Rain, now at Big Idea Theater, directed by Shaleen Schmutzer-Smith. The play chronicles Walker and Nan’s beliefs about their family history, particularly what goes on in the mind of their emotionally distant, world-famous architect father, as well as what they hope to discover based on mysterious findings in their father’s journal.

When the father’s will gives his prized accomplishment, a famous home once featured in Life magazine, to Pip (Ryan Snyder), the son of his collaborator, it is a blow that none can understand.

Act 2 is set 35 years earlier, with the actors playing their parents and giving the audience answers to the some (but not all) of the questions posed earlier.

Three Days of Rain boasts a strong trio of actors—Baldwin gives an honest and gut-wrenching performance as Walker, but it is as Ned, his reserved, stuttering father, where he really shines.

Edwards is a strong Nan, who loves her brother, but can’t quite trust him, since he has disappointed her so often. As mother Lina, however, she’s less like the described “Zelda Fitzgerald’s less stable sister” and it is difficult to see how she became the mentally needy, alcoholic mother described in Act 1.

Snyder is wonderful as the suave handsome TV idol Pip, and also deftly plays the emotionally unstable Theo, whose untimely death will affect everyone forever. Though the second act seems rushed, trying to fit in too much too quickly following the more solid first act, this is a compelling drama throughout that’s certain to satisfy.