Julia Roberts Debuts on Broadway

The Broadway revival of "Three Days of Rain," starring Julia Roberts in her Broadway debut, is pretty much sold-out for its three-month run.

"Some seats are available, but not many," producer David Stone said Wednesday, although he and fellow producer Marc Platt have declined to talk about exact figures and the advance.

Yet go online at eBay, for example, and you can find more than 200 offerings of tickets for the show. One prime orchestra location, fifth row center, has a minimum bid of $600.

Internet reaction to Roberts' first preview performance Tuesday was sparse but encouraging from theatergoers who were at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. "Julia appeared nervous in the beginning, but hit her stride in the second act," said one posting on www.talkinbroadway.com . "Julia appeared very happy to get this one out of the way. A few flubs of lines, but the show is in good shape considering first preview."

The production, directed by Joe Mantello, opens April 19 and is scheduled to close June 18. There was no word on whether Roberts would extend her run in the play.

"Before we talk about an extension, we have to get through more performances," Stone said.

The Academy Award-winning actress co-stars with Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper in the Richard Greenberg play concerning two interlocking stories taking place in different decades. The play, which features three actors portraying multiple characters, originally was done by Manhattan Theatre Club in 1997 with Patricia Clarkson in the role played by Roberts.

Roberts is the latest in a line of big-name performers who have made the jump to Broadway, most with mixed critical success but boffo box-office results. Both Denzel Washington, who has extensive stage credits, and Sean Combs, who had none, have made the journey in recent seasons.

If many of the critics weren't impressed with their efforts, audiences didn't seem to care. Washington's take on Brutus in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and Comb's appearance in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin the Sun," were both financial hits, doing strong business during their limited engagements.