That Hugh Jackman knows his way around any stage I knew (I’m still miffed I didn’t see him in Boy from Oz – till I get my name in lights!) – I had only heard that Daniel Craig had started out on british stages as well, but never even read a review.
But then, come on: Wolverine and James Bond? Please! It’s a given. Every red blooded girl has to see it.
Now, “A Steady Rain” is a two-person drama that’s rather gritty, even cumbersome – while it is constantly raining, two police detective reminisce in mostly monologues about how and when their lives went wrong. There’s the hot headed, brash one who’s happily married, or so it seems, as he does have various girl friends on the side and doesn’t take the law too seriously. And there’s the awkward one, who doesn’t have any luck with women at all, who lives alone in a ratty apartment and tries to cover up the muck ups of his partner, who – in exchange – tries to set him up with girls from time to time.
Like in a greek tragedy where fate is inevitable and cruel, events take a turn for the worse, when because of his girlfriend, the brash cop (Jackman) makes enemies with the wrong people. At this point, his partner (Craig) is already filling in as the fatherfigure for his friend’s kids. He seems to fit in seamlessly and even comforts his partner’s wife when one of the children takes ill while his friend falls deeper and deeper into a spider’s web of violence and despair.
The play ends when the rain finally stops – but by then one of the cops is dead and the other one has stepped in as a protector, even a lover.
Thanks to the talents of both Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig (who is an amazing stage actor and absolutely brilliant in the portrayal of the closed off, lonely policeman!) the drama unfolds in a gripping, frighteningly predetermined way that causes one to shiver! Standing ovations all over the place, sold out theatre – even tho the tickets for the first few rows were disgustingly expensive VIP tickets!
The real fun tho started after the show when the two performers collected money for Equity Cares, Broadway against Aids. At both shows they started to auction off their undershirts, Jackman opening up and slipping out of his shirt to show off muscled arms, Craig being a bit more modest, only showing off his chest …
At one show a lady in the audience yelled, Daniel, auction off your pants, to which Craig haltingly, hesitatingly answered – well, first we’d have to clarify do you mean my pants or my knickers (in his best London voice and no longer the Chicago lilt he had to have going throughout the play). Also funny: Jackman, all big gestures and wide arms like a true Broadway veteran, announced Craig (who was significantly more drawn in and is a total gentleman, a bit overwhelmed by all the fan adoration and very polite and friendly at the stage door) as a Broadway virgin – roars of laughter!
They got loads of money for their undershirts and autographs, which was why they didn’t autograph anything at the stage door – but they talked to everyone who mustered up the courage to speak to them, and they shook hands, lots of hands.
And that’s how I can say: James Bond shook my hand!