THIS WEEK IN NYC 
 
 
MANHATTAN CHRONICLES REVIEW
 
A STEADY RAIN with DANIEL CRAIG and HUGH JACKMAN
 
By ALEXANDRA ARES
 
Jackman's character, Danny, is a bad cop and family man who resembles the one in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” recently (2009) directed by Werner Herzog. He adopts single Joey into his family to protect him from himself, only to skid on an even worse, self-destructive path.  Mr. Jackman has the meatier role, with a richer palette of emotions, ranging from happy-go-lucky to heavy drama. He aces the charm and joie de vivre but lacks dramatic intensity. Occasionally, Mr. Jackman seems to only be presenting his character, while Mr. Craig clearly inhabits his.        

Mr. John Crowley, who also directed the acclaimed Pillowman on Broadway in 2005, directs with calculated restraint. His focus remains on the two characters who deliver their monologues from a dark, empty space, set under two police lamps. It's a minimal and sparse setting, built for strong actor performance. Several times the monotony is broken by a three-dimensional enactment of the scenarios recalled in the two monologues. Yet, it's clear that the director’s intention was an acapella show to prove to an exigent Broadway audience the magical things that can happen when all the stunts and special effects fade away. 

I was lucky to see the show from the first row and there was only one detail that clashed with Mr. Craig’s excellent impersonation of a poor Chicago cop. It was not his accent, (very well mastered) or his made-for-Bond, chiselled body, clad in a cheap, gray suit. It was his shoes...his fabulous, very expensive looking shoes.