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Review Roundup: LUCKY GUY Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!


Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks makes his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy, a new play written by three-time Academy Award nominee Nora Ephron and directed by two-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe. Lucky Guy opens tonight, April 1, at Broadhurst Theatre.

Also starring are Maura Tierney as Alice McAlary; Christopher McDonald as lawyer Eddie Hayes; Peter Gerety as editor John Cotter; Courtney B. Vance as editor Hap Hairston; Peter Scolari as columnist Michael Daly and Richard Masur as editors Jerry Nachman and Stanley Joyce.

The production features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, sound design by Scott Lehrer and lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, with projection design by batwin + robin productions.

Nora Ephron's new play is about the scandal- and graffiti-ridden New York of the 1980s, as told through the story of the charismatic and controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary (Tom Hanks).

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Ben Brantley, The New York Times: "Lucky Guy" is not so much a fully developed play or even a persuasive character study as a boisterous swapping of fond anecdotes about the end of a life and the end of an era...Not that "Lucky Guy" is a crepe hanger. On the contrary, staged with the full bells-and-whistles treatment for which Mr. Wolfe is celebrated...Unlike some of the movies Ephron wrote and directed, and many of her peerlessly sharp essays, "Lucky Guy" often feels only newsprint deep. But as a love song to a fast-disappearing, two-fisted brand of journalism - a field in which she began her long and varied career - it has the heart and energy of the perpetually engaged, insatiably curious observer that Ephron never ceased to be.

Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: Nora Ephron's last play is about the world of New York tabloids, and it's a lot like the messy subject she looks at - overindulgent, overstuffed and raucous. That's its charm as well as its undoing...Hanks, making his Broadway debut, is classic Hanks - lovable, touching and funny...After 16 scenes over two hours, McAlary emerges as a complex figure, both self-aggrandizing and yet also someone who genuinely seems to want to "right wrongs"...Ephron seems to be bewitched by this lovable scamp. But the play leaves little lasting impression, like a day-old tabloid.

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: The actor whose name sits above the marquee proves equally adroit. McAlary, whose columns could be as unsparing on alleged crime victims as they were on rogue cops, made his share of professional and personal missteps; and Hanks shows us his capacity for arrogance and recklessness. But the actor also makes McAlary's human fallibility part of his appeal, bringing to the role a crustier version of the unmannered charm that made Hanks one of Hollywood's most likable leading men. That's a key asset here, as something like it surely helped McAlary form the regular-guy bonds that fed his biggest scoops.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: A frequent stumbling block in any dense dramatic chronicle is too much tell, not enough show. But the late Nora Ephron circumvents that problem in her entertaining salute to the tabloid newspaper business of the 1980s and '90s, Lucky Guy. She smartly enlists a garrulous crew of reporters and editors to serve as the oral-history vessel for her nostalgic look back at old-school, foot-in-the-door journalism...Directed with warmth and vitality by George C. Wolfe, it's performed with relish by a dynamic cast of pros, piloted by an uncharacteristically rough-edged Tom Hanks...Is it exceptional drama? Not by any means. It's talky, cursory in its conflict exploration, and not exactly packed with complexity. Yet it's intelligently written, engrossing and laced with crackling humor.

Erik Haagensen, Backstage: Nora Ephron's posthumously produced "Lucky Guy" is a breezy but thin account of the life and career of New York City reporter and columnist Mike McAlary. Film star Tom Hanks, in his Broadway debut and first stage appearance in more than 30 years, displays potent theatrical technique and dispenses the requisite charisma as the bombastic newspaper flack. Audiences primed for seeing Hanks in the flesh probably won't care about the flimsiness of his vehicle and the reams of rat-a-tat-tat narration that shackle it.

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