Bradley has been doing all right for himself lately. He was the destined-to-be-dumped asshole fiancé in Wedding Crashers and he played the male-bonding buddy of Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch. Hopefully, some leading man roles are in his future.
My wife and I go to New York a couple of times a year to see Broadway shows or other special events. I get a bunch of e-mail newsletters giving me advance notice on upcoming shows. When we got word about a super-double-secret presale of tickets for Three Days of Rain featuring Bradley Cooper, we knew we wanted to go and that this might be a hot ticket.
On the Saturday of the super-double-secret presale, we set up a virtual war room for making sure we snagged good seats. We had identified Easter weekend as the most advantageous time to go and assigned each family member a show to try to get tickets for. I was working at the office and used the office internet connection. My son was upstairs at his computer and given explicit directions on how to navigate the Tele-Charge system. My wife sat at the family computer and used her laptop on the wireless network as well.
As usual with these things, the website was swamped and error messages abound. After fifteen minutes of diligent refreshing, my wife got through and snagged a pair of tickets for the Easter Sunday matinee in the third row of the orchestra. These were essentially the same seats we had the second time we saw The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, so we were ecstatic.
Three Days of Rain only has a cast of three. In the first act, two children of a famous architect that has just died try to figure out his legacy. Bradley Cooper's part is as the childhood friend of the first two and the son of their dad’s dead business partner. In the second act, all three actors play the parents. The second act also features the titular (my favorite word again) rain. We are talking a level of hydraulic verisimilitude that I haven’t seen on stage since the wet sari dance number in Bombay Dreams. It rains on stage with real water the entire second act. I got splashed at least once.
Now Brad, much to my dismay, does not carry the entire show. Of the three leads, his part is probably the least important. The dual characters of Walker and Ned are played by Paul Rudd, who despite being an accomplished stage actor, is best known as Phoebe’s husband on Friends.
The female lead who plays Paul Rudd’s sister in the first act is, like Bradley Cooper, making her Broadway debut. She has played a lot of those stereotypical Hollywood roles like hooker, waitress, intrepid girl reporter, wife being stalked by her ex-husand – those sort of things – but has never had to face the task of doing eight shows a week live in front of an audience. Despite her lack of thespianic experience, she is rumored to be making $35,000 a week for the limited twelve week run, significantly above union scale.
I should remember her name…it’s on the tip of my tongue…oh, yeah…
This where I hear eye-rolling and mumbling about me going off on one of my celebrity obsessed rants like I did for Angelina Jolie or Tom Cruise. But Julia is not my obsession, it’s my wife’s. When she was bed-rested in the last month of her pregnancy, she would occassionally sneak out of the house and go catch a matinee of Pretty Woman. Between the pregnancy-induced high hormone level and the Cinderella fantasy of getting paid to screw Richard Gere, she somehow bonded with Julia in a way inexplicable to me.
While we haven’t seen EVERY Julia Roberts movie (nothing could make my wife sit through Mary Reilly), we have seen most of them, including the very bad ones. I paid a babysitter to see I Love Trouble, the chemistry-free romantic comedy she did with Nick Nolte. She still owes me for that one. Both my wife and Julia Roberts.
I guess seeing Julia live in Three Days of Rain makes up for it. She doesn’t have much to do in the first act except stand around and give exposition, but in the second act, she gets to unleash her Southern twang and chew the scenery a little.
I really liked the show and am still trying to get my head around some of the plot twists, but my opinion doesn’t count. We saw the last performance in “previews” and the official opening is tonight, so theater critic reviews will roll out all week. I just have to say that for an Academy Award winning Broadway rookie, I think she did great and hope she breaks a leg come Tony time.
Tomorrow (or soon): How we scored autographs and pictures of all the cast members (and that includes Julia).