A Steady Rain (Schoenfeld Theatre)

Run date: September 10, 2009 – December 6, 2009
Theater: Schoenfeld Theatre

Cast: Hugh Jackman (Denny), Daniel Craig (Joey)

Written by: Keith Huff
Directed by: John Crowley

A Steady Rain tells the story of two Chicago policemen, lifelong friends, and their differing accounts of a few harrowing days that changed their lives forever.

» Reviews

“Jackman displays an almost animalistic rage that comes from a different place than Wolverine’s. Denny cares deeply for his family, and that provides the justification for his criminal actions. Jackman pulls off an acting miracle in managing to make this violent racist sympathetic.”

“Jackman allows you to feel both the warmth and the tyranny of Denny’s love. A taller presence than Craig, he takes up more stage space physically and theatrically, which is just how it should be, given the way his character swaggers like the king of his own limited universe.”

“Hands blurring in constant motion, Jackman’s foul-mouthed Italian paisano Denny is a simmering stew of mixed emotions. The actors’ interplay is swift, true and confident and their final face-off reduces the audience to a hush.”

“Jackman does an excellent job playing a man who heedlessly jumps the median between superego and id, in the best tradition of the self-mythologizing American sociopath. The erstwhile X-man has never spelled danger, with or without muttonchops.”

“Craig and Jackman are just terrific as two Chicago cops recounting their lifelong friendship, partnership, and their tragic undoing […] Jackman is family man Denny, whose secret life is peeled back like layers of onion skin. Jackman is just as riveting, starting Denny out as a solid, good-time guy and steering him into dangerous territory.”

“Jackman imbues Denny with a good-natured humor and reluctant charm, when the character seems to demand off-putting brusqueness and even violence in the way he approaches his daily affairs. These choices go against expectations, but they work because they help you understand both men better. Violating the script’s apparently stated precepts in this way is not a beginner’s choice, and it requires real chops to pull off when the material itself is less than absolutely scintillating.”

“The duo gave a tight, nuanced performance, complete with convincing Chicago accents. Jackman, who won a Tony Award for his 2004 Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz, was enthralling as the big hearted but corrupt cop. By turns humorous, dark and tense, the actors handled Keith Huff’s evenly paced drama, directed by John Crowley, with a skill and subtlety which rarely gets chance to shine in Hollywood.”

“Jackman once again displays the kind of masculine grace blended with gruff virility that guarantees uninterrupted attention from the audience.”

“Denny is the flashier role with the more dramatic trajectory, and Jackman brings a powerful presence to it even if the character hasn’t quite yet become a second skin. There’s still evidence of the actor beneath the tough-talking hothead, but he shifts persuasively back and forth between easygoing volubility and the unpredictable menace of a man unwilling to relinquish control of any situation. Jackman’s natural warmth also allows us a degree of understanding and sympathy for Denny even at his most repellent. Neither Huff nor Jackman apologize for Denny’s brutality, yet it never becomes a simple bad-cop portrait.”

“Under John Crowley’s direction, the two stars present the increasingly far-fetched tale with an amiable diffidence that lets them show you their acting ability, as each gets into his character’s moments of personal pain, while carefully keeping the sordid events at a distance […] Jackman, with his wonderful easy fluidity, shows once again that he’s a natural-born stage star.”

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