Julia Roberts, moviedom's reigning female star, chose Richard Greenberg's 1997 drama of shared and unknown history as the vehicle to bring her to the New York stage for the first time in her celebrated and Oscar-honored career. Her director is Broadway veteran Joe Mantello, and her co-stars are Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper (without whom she has not conducted a single interview in support of the production).
The limited run at the Jacobs Theatre is all but sold out, according to recent reports.
Roberts plays Nan, the practical sister of the erratic Walker (Rudd). The two are the children of a famous architect, who was business partners with the father of their longtime friend, Pip (Cooper), the play's third character. The first act finds the three, all somewhat estranged from one another, trying to dope out a journal left behind by Nan and Walker's dad, particularly the mysterious entry "three days of rain." In the second act, the time frame shirts back in time a few decades and the three play the parents of the first-act characters (in Roberts' case, a vivacious and unstable Southern belle).
The 12-week engagement will run through June 18. Marc Platt and David Stone and the Shubert Organization produce.
Three Days of Rain will have scenic and costume design by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Paul Gallo and sound design by David Van Tieghem. Three Days of Rain was first produced Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1997, with Patricia Clarkson in the Roberts role, John Slattery as Walker and another Bradley—Whitford—as Pip. It was a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize. Many critics consider it Greenberg's best play.
Despite the celebrity status of Roberts, producers have not overplayed her involvement. Her image is not seen in the ads or posters, which feature a monochromatic photo of two feet standing in a puddle of rain, and her name is printed in the same size type as that of her fellow actors. Producers have also been quiet about the show's pre-opening box-office take, which has been considerable.