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Steppenwolf Co-founder Jeff Perry directs gritty, darkly poetic ‘A Steady Rain’

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Steppenwolf Theatre co-founder Jeff Perry (“Scandal”) directs the Los Angeles premiere of a riveting drama by Keith Huff (“Mad Men,” “House of Cards”) that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. “A Steady Rain opens February 22, 2014 at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A.

Filled with sharp storytelling and biting repartee, “A Steady Rain” is a gritty, darkly poetic duologue about two Chicago police officers whose inner need to serve and protect consumes them — and also rips them apart. Thomas Vincent Kelly and Sal Viscuso star as partners on the force whose lifelong friendship is put to the test when a deadly error of judgment sends their lives spinning out of control.

“Keith has created an inexorable tragedy that’s very Shakespearean about two guys who have the best of intentions,” says Perry. “The narrative emerges out of a chaotic stewpot of events, yet it’s all perfectly clear and highly authentic. It’s a beautiful thing – a very sophisticated, deft and unique piece of storytelling.”

Initially produced by Chicago Dramatists in 2007 and then at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago in 2008, “A Steady Rain won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. In 2009 it opened on Broadway in a production that starred Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig and broke box office records.

“I wrote ‘A Steady Rainalong with two other plays, a kind of a loose trilogy of Chicago cop plays,” said Huff in an interview. “When you see these genres play out on film or TV, there’s almost a prescribed morality that they’re handing you. I wanted to take those established genres and thread through them the moral obverse of what we’re used to seeing. In my trilogy, sometimes the good guys are the bad guys, and vice-versa.”

Huff has written the film adaptation of “A Steady Rain” for Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (EON Films); original pilots for HBO, Steven Spielberg/Dreamworks TV and AMC; and was writer/co-producer for Season One of the NetFlix series “House of Cards,” featuring Kevin Spacey, and Season 4 of AMC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series “Mad Men,” for which he won a 2011 Writers Guild Award (Best Drama Series).

Perhaps best known as White House chief of staff Cyrus Beene on ABC’s “Scandal, Perry is a co-founder of Chicago's internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre, The School at Steppenwolf, Steppenwolf Classes West and Steppenwolf Films.

“A Steady Rain” performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through April 20 (dark April 10-13; 5 p.m. Sunday, February 23 only). Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on March 19 and April 2, and on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on March 27 and April 17. Tickets are $25 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and $30 on Saturdays and Sundays, except for the opening night performance which is $45 and includes a gala reception with the actors. There will be three pay-what-you-can performances on Feb. 28, March 21 (wine night) and April 2. Call 310-447-2055 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in West Los Angeles.

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