Arts & Culture

Film Noire comes to life in cosy theatre atop famous nightclub

By Lorraine Graves

Published 3:47 PDT, Fri May 24, 2019

Last Updated: 4:08 PDT, Tue July 2, 2019

As you walk up Seymour Street to the Penthouse Nightclub, the mood is set for “A Steady Rain.” A saxophone’s tones waft through the early summer air. The player stands outside the famous site and theatre-goers are directed up past the club to a set of private rooms two floors up. The bar up there is classic, with a battered grand piano and a friendly manager, Amanda, behind the bar. It’s a chance to order a drink to take into the performance.

As you walk up Seymour Street to the Penthouse Nightclub, the mood is set for “A Steady Rain.” A saxophone’s tones waft through the early summer air. The player stands outside the famous site and theatre-goers are directed up past the club to a set of private rooms two floors up. The bar up there is classic, with a battered grand piano and a friendly manager, Amanda, behind the bar. It’s a chance to order a drink to take into the performance.

As the sax player moves into the theatre and settles behind an electronic piano, so too does the audience. What awaits is something right out of film noire, a stark hanging light over a small table with two chairs. A bluesy song plays in the background. The room still smells of its past as an after-hours private club where all the big names played when in town.

“A Steady Rain” is a cop story written by the best in the business, Keith Huff. It’s also a story about deep friendship and the cost of toxic masculinity to the people these partner cops deal with, and to themselves.

Yet, both I and my companion remarked on how one doesn’t feel beaten up after the show. There is enough humour, and redemption, to make a spruce package. While no easy answers are proffered in this play that explores the grey areas of cop morality and their internal justifications for their own deeds, these two guys have heart, treasuring home life and family.

The dialogue is sharply written and vividly performed. David Thomas Newham and Daniel Deorksen hold the stage even when they say nothing. To be this close to the audience and have such an impact shows the power of good acting.

Seven Tyrants Theatre Company’s production is gripping. The lighting, sound, direction and music blend to enhance the actors’ words and actions.

The studio theatre is cozy, so all the action is up close and personal. The producers thanked the Fillipone family, long-time owners of the establishment, for the use of this rarely-seen space. Almost the only time the public gets to peek into the upstairs theatre and private bar is in TV series or movies. (Though tours are offered approximately once each month during the winter.) This is your chance to peer into the past and pick up a fine theatre experience at the same time.

The play broke box office records on Broadway and I can see why.

Seven Tyrants’ production of “A Steady Rain” won’t be here for long.

Theatre this tight should not be missed.

Get your tickets ($29) now at tickets at or at the door.

Shows start at 7 p.m.

Street parking often available. Four-Block walk from City Centre Skytrain Station.

Runs Saturday to Friday. Must close May 31.

See more canada news

See All

See more international news

  See All
© 2019 Richmond Sentinel News Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by Intelli Management Group Inc.