Hugh Craig, Daniel Jackman sell out on Broadway

Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:01pm EDT
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By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, best known for playing big screen action heroes Wolverine and James Bond, have drawn record ticket sales for their play "A Steady Rain," but it drew mixed reviews on Wednesday after opening night.

USA Today raved that the two actors put in "stellar turns," but The New York Times' verdict was "Big names, little show."

The producers said this week the play broke the record for the highest weekly box office gross for a non-musical production on Broadway, taking in $1.17 million in the week ending September 20.

Craig and Jackman are among the big name stars producers hope will boost sales on Broadway at a time of recession.

The play, by playwright Keith Huff, was a hit in Chicago before being brought to Broadway, where Jackman and Craig portray two Windy City cops, Denny and Joey, offering different accounts of a harrowing event that changed their lives.

New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote that the play "is probably best regarded as a small, wobbly pedestal on which two gods of the screen may stand in order to be worshiped."

He added that the woman he saw the play with likely expressed the feelings of many in the audience when she said: "If only ... the play had been set in a police station locker room, where the characters might frequently change clothes."

New York post critic Elisabeth Vincentelli said Jackman was "vastly appealing" but miscast as a self-destructive troublemaker.   Continued...

<p>Actor Hugh Jackman poses on a Harley Davidson to fans before riding it at a red carpet event for the Japan premiere of "X-men Origins: Wolverine" in Tokyo, September 3, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon</p>