There are only three more performances in Amphibian Productions’ run of Richard Greenberg’s quietly affecting ”Three Days Of Rain.” Catch it if you can. The play features at least three characters with a grating tendency to drop literary names and scornfully reduce nearly every motivation to stupidity or shallowness. But those roles are effectively humanized by actors Caleb Scott, Katya Campbell, and Mycah Hogan. Playwright Greenberg deals in a recognizable, dysfunctional, and squirm-inducing intimacy between parents and children that’s too vivid for canny thesps to ignore.
Fun Fact: Julia Roberts made her Broadway debut in a revival of “Three Days of Rain” in 2006 alongside Paul Rudd and current “It” Boy Bradley Cooper. The critics almost universally slammed her performance. As usual, they were accused of snobbery – how DARE a stage-inexperienced movie star invade our sanctum sanctorum? Though I’m not a fan of her film work – she’s been burdened for too long with acting in custom-designed “vehicles” rather than movies — Roberts does seem like one of the few mega-watt celebrities who’d be fun to have a couple of drinks with. Based on the “Rain” reviews, though, it sounds like she indeed sucked in that production.
In the end, she arguably did get one important critical pass: “NYT”’s usually astute Ben Brantley made an ass of himself trying not to sound like a snob while still panning the show. Earlier this year, Roberts declared she would return to the New York stage, but this time: “Maybe not pick the hardest play I can find.” We should all be so honest about our limitations.