Secrets of the father

Three Days of Rain

Gillen Morrison and Jonathan Rhys Williams do some family planning in <i>Three Days of Rain</i>.

Gillen Morrison and Jonathan Rhys Williams do some family planning in Three Days of Rain.

Rated 4.0

“Three days of rain.” Those are the enigmaticfirst four words written in the sparse journal of a renowned architect named Ned. The journal is found by the architect’s emotionally unbalanced son, Walker, who is desperate for answers about his own wrecked life and for a peek into his distant—and now dead—father’s mind.

Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain is a fascinating and complex journey through generations of family dysfunctions, personal perspectives and buried secrets. What happened between two architects in those three days more than 30 years ago, and the impact those days had on their families, are the mysteries that drive the story. Capital Stage’s small space on the Delta King is a perfect venue for this intimate narrative told by three actors portraying six characters who, at times, speak directly to the audience.

It’s a backward tale. In the first act, we meet three young offspring of architectural business partners Ned and Theo: Ned’s children Walker (Jonathan Rhys Williams) and Nan (Megan Smith), and Theo’s son Pip (Gillen Morrison). In the second half, the action reaches back more than 30 years to show exactly what happened in a small loft during three days of rain between Ned (Williams), Theo (Morrison) and Ned’s future wife, Lina (Smith).

The first act takes place on the day Ned’s will is read. Everyone will find out who gets the famed architectural residence designed by Ned and Theo. The mysteries are placed in front of us: What was the true personal and professional relationship between the famed architects? What was Lina’s involvement? What resounding aftershocks affected the next generation? Over time, the answers leak, seep, trickle and gush out, and sometimes remain underground.

The three-member cast of Three Days of Rain delivers a memorable production under the watchful eye of director Peter Mohrmann. Most notable are Williams, who presents both the angry, damaged soul of Walker and the delicate, stuttering lost soul of Ned; and Smith, who portrays the uptight and upright sister Nan and her neurotic Southern beauty mother Lina. Both actors give layers of nuances to their characters that flesh them out as individuals. Morrison also breathes life and charm into his roles, but needs to work on bringing out distinguishing characteristics that separate his two portrayals into distinct personalities.