Julia Roberts, a darling of American film critics and the top female box-office star, is receiving mixed reviews from theater critics following her debut playing two characters in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain on Broadway. Ben Brantley writes in the New York Times: "She's stiff with self-consciousness (especially in the first act), only glancingly acquainted with the two characters she plays and so deeply, disturbingly beautiful that you don't want to let her out of your sight." Later, he continues: "That she does not do well -- at least not by any conventional standards of theatrical art -- is unlikely to lose Ms. Roberts any fans, though it definitely won't win her any new ones among drama snobs. Your heart goes out to her when she makes her entrance in the first act and freezes with the unyielding stiffness of an industrial lamppost, as if to move too much might invite falling." Peter Marks writes similarly in the Washington Post: "Well, she gives it the old college try -- and that is all she appears capable of. As if marooned on an unfamiliar shore, Julia Roberts staggers hesitantly through Three Days of Rain." Elysa Gardner in USA Today is kinder, writing, "Roberts makes both women [her two characters] credible, compelling and sweetly funny. And she manages a tender chemistry with each of her costars." As for Shakespeare's remark that "the play's the thing," clearly he lived before the age of movie stars. As Howard Kissel observes in the New York Daily News, "There's almost no point discussing Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain" as a play. With Julia Roberts as its leading lady, it's an event! Think Puffy in "A Raisin in the Sun." Or Liz and Dick in "Private Lives." A celebrity changes theatergoing into an evening of status enhancement. It's not about experiencing a play - it's about telling your friends you saw Her."
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