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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Critics slam Roberts' stage debut
Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts' two-month run in the play has already sold out
Critics were less than impressed with Julia Roberts' stage debut as her play Three Days of Rain opened on Broadway.

"The star wattage, so evident on the screen doesn't seem, at least in this case, to transfer to the stage," wrote The Hollywood Reporter.

And the New York Times critic wrote that Roberts' "voice is strangled, abrupt and often hard to hear".

The opening night was attended by celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon.

The play's producers do not have to worry about reviews affecting ticket sales because its short run has already sold out.

A performance so introspective and lacking in sexual energy that it feels almost apologetic
Chicago Tribune
Touts have reportedly been selling tickets for as much as $600 (336) outside New York's Bernard B Jacobs Theatre.

There were some positive early reviews, with USA Today saying she could "hold her own" against experienced her theatrical co-stars Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper and had made her character "credible and sweetly funny".

But the Chicago Tribune said Roberts' performance was "so introspective and lacking in sexual energy that it feels almost apologetic".

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was among the celebrities at the opening night
"Roberts' orbit here feels so limited in range - and so lacking in oomph, projection and the necessary vocal support - that one has to repress an urge to jump up on stage, get close to that famous, wide-mouthed visage, and see precisely what she's doing," the Tribune critic wrote.

Even more scathing was the New York Times, which said Roberts displayed "the unyielding stiffness of an industrial lamppost".

The play, written by Richard Greenberg, features three actors playing two characters each as they come together for the reading of a will.

Running until 18 June, the drama shifts from the present to the past as the actors become their characters' parents.

See clips from Julia Roberts' Broadway performance

Julia Roberts on Broadway
19 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Roberts prepares for Broadway run
19 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Roberts' Broadway run sells out
30 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
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30 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
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30 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Julia Roberts makes Broadway move
30 Jul 05 |  Entertainment

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