A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig and High Jackman
The planet’s toughest action heroes play sentimental anti-heroes
At the Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway
Published: November 6, 2009
Major stars and great acting, in an edgy, minor play.

A steady rain of star power and face time with the sixth James Bond (Daniel Craig), and an Xman mutant known as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) make this little play by Chicago playwright Keith Huff, the biggest, must-see event of Broadway's 2009's Fall season.

If you are an intellectual and an avid theatre goer, you’ll enjoy this "duologue" about two flawed Chicago cops and best friends with opposite personalities and almost hourglass merging destinies. It's a double, one man show where restraint (Daniel Craig) faces flamboyant (Hugh Jackman) and less is more.

If you’re no big theatre fan, you can still love this play for its familiar terrain: Sin, mayhem, police drama and all the delicious trappings of your favourite TV crime shows.

The biggest surprise for all: James Bond turns out to be an exquisite stage actor. We’ve all read that Mr. Craig was an accomplished actor in London before he became the sixth James Bond. Seeing is always believing.

Despite the 70s moustache, an intentional, uncharismatic demeanour, and a humble role filled with silences, listening stretches, and plenty of playing second fiddle, Craig steals the show from Jackman and has what Jude Law doesn’t quite have in Hamlet: Surprise and effortless stage power.

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.

 * The show is sold out but tickets can be find for a steep price on