Tom Hanks makes solid Broadway debut in so-so play: critics

Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:04pm EDT
 
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tom Hanks impressed critics with his Broadway debut in "Lucky Guy", Nora Ephron's final play, but the late Hollywood writer and director did not fare so well with her newsroom-set drama that opened on Monday night.

As tabloid journalist Mike McAlary, who won a Pulitzer Prize covering New York police scandals and lurid crimes for the Daily News and New York Post, Hanks rewards audiences "with a committed, generous performance by the real-deal star," Entertainment Weekly said.

The Hollywood Reporter said Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner already seen as a Tony award front-runner for his work in the play, "is not afraid to make the character an abrasive jerk, yet the actor's innate integrity ensures that we feel for Mike when he takes some hard knocks."

McAlary was a hard-drinking, hard-living reporter who died young, at 41, from cancer in 1998.

"Although he hasn't trod the boards in years, the affable movie star takes to the stage like a fish to water," Variety said about Hanks, whose stage acting had been limited to small Shakespeare productions in the 1970s.

But critics were less enthusiastic about Ephron's play.

"Although it's heartfelt, the show is a hodgepodge. Long-winded and overly linear, it skates along on a just-the-facts-ma'am surface like a typical TV movie," the Daily News said.

The New York Post, where Ephron worked for several years early in her career in the 1960s, said, "The show springs from her deep affection for the trade and its ink-stained wretches."   Continued...

 
Actor Tom Hanks gestures to the audience after his performance in the premiere of the play Lucky Guy in New York, April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson