Chelsea Perreti’s Rain’s Comin’ In is Sharp Satire
WORDS BY: MICHAEL JOERRES
Introducing her yet-to-be produced play, Rain’s Comin’ In, Chelsea Peretti says, “It’s about a family in a small town, but it’s about all of us.” Like August: Osage County and every Tennessee Williams play ever, Peretti’s drama unfolds between a tight-knit, rural family contending with the issues brought up by modern society. The only difference between Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Peretti’s creation is that she has enlisted a group of the best young comedians with deadpan delivery.
At Upright Citizens Brigade’s Franklin location in LA, the reading of Peretti’s play sold out immediately. However, you can still catch the brilliant performances of Kate Berlant as Terry Ann, John Early as Cooper, Xosha Roquemore as Evangeline, Esther Povitsky as Lilly May, Emily Spivey as C.B., Yassir Lester as Buck, and Moshe Kasher as Daddy’s Ghost via Chelsea’s podcast.
Peretti’s masterful sarcasm is first employed when she explains people’s “reactions” to the play. “People have said ‘what’s the point?’ ‘I don’t get any message from this.’ ‘It feels endless,’ etc.” This introduction does indeed accurately describe the play, were it not for it’s ironic bent. Rain’s Comin In’ starts on a stormy night as Terry Ann comes home for Thanksgiving; she’s met with the self-centered matriarch played by Peretti herself, Mama Jean. Terri Ann comes back a changed woman, having been hired at a fancy advertising agency and reminds the family that she “bought y’all a Nespresso machine that’s quiet as hell.” Family dynamics are explored with all of the tropes and clichés you’d expect, like the storyline of a forbidden love with the ten-gallon hat wearing neighbor. Lines like “Nothin’s chasin’ any of us but rain” are delivered despite stifled laughter. During the Q&A that follows, Peretti asks the audience for feedback; she’s curious to know, “Which parts did you cry during?”
While we wait for the play to hit Broadway, do yourself a favor and listen below.