‘Steady Rain’ storms Broadway

Mariah Carey shares thoughts on 'Memoirs'

I WON’T attempt to actually critique the Hugh Jackman-Daniel Craig play, “A Steady Rain,” which recently opened on Broadway. The critics were fairly uniform in their recognition of the mega fame of the play’s problem in its offering of these two huge screen stars. Contrast that with the slightness of the playwright Keith Huff’s mano a mano drama about two Chicago cops who find themselves in a mess. (As people kept remarking, you can see stories like this every night on TV in “Law and Order” and all the rest of the cop-crime dramas.)

In an opening night crowd that boasted Wendi and Rupert Murdoch, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Matthew Broderick, Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Goldblum, Woody Harrelson, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts — it was still interesting and enjoyable to see our two heroes, live and unlike themselves on stage.

Daniel Craig probably scores higher critically, with his both belt-and-suspenders type of unassuming, careful guy. He is all but unrecognizable in his middle-aged manner, complete with unattractive mustache. Hugh Jackman is his sexy self and probably relishes this stage role that lets him be profane and macho. (His last stint on Broadway was as the flamboyant Peter Allen in “The Boy From Oz.”)

The two-man drama, long on talk and short on action, is already Broadway’s top-grossing play with no other non-musical topping its potential at $1,167,954 for the week ending Sept. 20. This beats even Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” one-man record. “Rain” opened with a $12 million dollar advance sale. In any case, it will all be over on Dec. 6 so it is nice to have actually been there on opening night.

ALL MY life, my saving grace, the thing that kept me steady, was listening to music; on the radio, on records or my mother’s singing.”

That’s the famously voluptuous singing superstar Mariah Carey, with whom I had a brief conversation the other day.

I was the last of Mariah’s duties that long afternoon; she’d given about 19 interviews to promote her new album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.”

Even though our super-fast chat was supposed to be confined to her music, I had to immediately compliment Mariah on her small, unglamorous-but-pivotal-social-worker role in the movie “Precious.” And I told her I’d also liked her in the two-guys-one-gal-on-the-road movie “Tennessee.” (Both these films emerged under the aegis of producer/director Lee Daniels, who is a great Mariah admirer. “Precious” is being talked up as Oscar-bait!)

Even though she was cruelly excoriated for 2001’s “Glitter,” Mariah says she’s encouraged by her recent efforts and would love to continue a movie career. And she should. Lord knows she’s ready to go the limit. There are not too many sex-symbols who would agree to appear as Mariah does in “Precious.” (It’s not a fake nose or strange teeth or padding, Mariah just took off her make-up and allowed a pitiless camera and harsh lighting to underscore her performance.)

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