The biggest news on Broadway last night, besides Jude Law’s stunning debut in “Hamlet,” is that Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman have been making short film together. Shhhh. It’s a secret. No one knows what it is or why they’re doing it. Maybe it will become clearer now. Just a weird note, because Winslet would be perfect in the film version of “A Steady Rain,” the play in which Jackman is now appearing with Daniel Craig on Broadway. I’m just sayin’…

Even Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, Kate’s husband, didn’t seem to know much about it as he arrived for “Hamlet.” The opening was a little celeb-starved, surprisingly. Janet McTeer, Natalie Portman, hit songwriter Desmond Child, Victor Garber, and Barbara Walters were pretty much the extent of it.

A lot of A listers will be kicking themselves, too, when they see the reviews for Jude as the haunted Danish Prince. He’s terrific, and holds his own carrying this three-hour Donmar Warehouse production directed by Michael Grandage and written by, you know, William Shakespeare.

While this “Hamlet” comes with a strong British cast ‘ I particularly liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ophelia and Kevin R. McNally as Claudius. But it’s Jude who has the most to prove after appearing in countless mostly middling movies, trying hard to be a movie star and at the same time finding himself in constant tabloid hell. (If you don’t know it, a past, short-term lover just gave birth to his fourth child.)

Most tabloid celebs don’t have the goods, and when it comes down to it, are famous for being famous. Not Jude Law. He first came to prominence on Broadway in “Indiscretions” (1995) last on a bill featuring Kathleen Turner, Roger Rees and Cynthia Nixon. Fourteen years later, he returns to New York theater and makes a splash. This is no simple or easy project. This is a whole “Hamlet,” with very little trimmed. The second act is longer than the first, and Law seems to grow even livelier as the play continues. He has the goods. This “Hamlet” will do a lot to advance his career as a serious actor.

He isn’t as haunted as some other Hamlets I’ve seen in recent years, like Kevin Kline or Liev Schreiber. Law’s Hamlet is less overwhelmed by his father’s ghost than angry about his mother’s affair with his uncle two months after the father’s death. But “Hamlet” is a play of depths, with a lot of issues to explore. It’s all going to end the same way anyway. And you can’t help but feel for him at the play’s conclusion.

FYI the last time “Hamlet’ was on Broadway, he was played by Ralph Fiennes. It seems like yesterday, but it was the spring of 1995 ‘ the same time Jude Law was making his debut down the street.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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