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Review Round-Up: How Lucky Can You Get?

April 3rd, 2013 Comments off

The cast of "Lucky Guy" (photo: Joan Marcus)

 

Tom Hanks in "Lucky Guy." (photo: Joan Marcus)

An untimely match made in heaven.

The passing of Nora Ephron in 2012 from leukemia shocked Hollywood. The author and screenwriter was known for her prolific work as a screenwriter, author, director and producer, having been associated with such pop culture titles as Julie & Julia, You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Tom Hanks appeared in the latter and now tackles the role of real life tabloid columnist Mike McAlary in Ephron’s Lucky Guy, which opened on Broadway this week. It is Hanks’ first appearance on Broadway although his early career began in the theater, including a three-year stint at the Great Lakes Theater Festival. While Ephron didn’t live to see opening night, she has surely heard the enthusiastic applause from above. Hanks is one lucky guy, indeed.

Lucky Guy
The Broadhurst Theatre
235 West 44th Street
Limited run through June 16.
Click Here for tickets.

 

Here’s what the critics have to say…

“If love were really all you need, Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy” would be the best show of the season, hands down. This fast-moving ink- and tear-stained portrait of the tabloid columnist Mike McAlary opened Monday night at the Broadhurst Theater, floating on a fathoms-deep reservoir of affection and good will, the likes of which back-stabbing Broadway seldom sees.

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.” The New York Times

“With a winning ensemble performance by Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, [Lucky Guy] magnificently conjures this lost era when ink-stained wretches ruled the world. Cup an ear and you might still be able to hear an editor shouting lines Ephron probably raided from her days as a New York Post reporter: ‘Where’s my nun-rape? Who’s got the subway slasher? I need the red meat. More red meat.’

Ephron and Hanks, whose past collaborations you may have heard a little something about, seem to be on the same page with McAlary’s character. Hanks’ disciplined performance lends just enough sympathy — the humanity that occasionally moistens McAlary’s eyes could never be confused with saintliness. And when the writing gets a touch mawkish, as with McAlary’s speech to his colleagues after learning of his Pulitzer win, Hanks wisely underplays the moment. His acting is at its most moving when he’s not speaking at all, just wandering silently amid all of McAlary’s second thoughts.” Los Angeles Times

“What’s most moving about Lucky Guy is that it offers, in the character of McAlary, exactly that tentative redemption: It’s a story of naïveté undone by experience and then brought halfway back. If that’s sentimental and self-regarding — the play has one or two sticky moments — well, the sentimentality and self-regard of the metropolitan scribbling class were also part of Ephron’s brief. Cities no less than hacks can be redeemed; journalists in particular have the chance to tell a new story, about us and about themselves, every day. And that chance may be life-or-death — because of course Lucky Guy is unavoidably a story about mortality as well, about dying young at whatever age. Perhaps as she worked on her final revisions of the play despite the encroachments of leukemia, Ephron felt like McAlary, who bolted a chemo treatment to race to his first interview with Louima. The trick was to keep writing. In that sense the play’s title, ironically enough, is not ironic, or not only ironic.” Vulture.com

NY1
New York Daily News
The Guardian
The Hollywood Reporter

 

Hanks, Breakfast at Tiffany’s & More Hollywood on the Hudson

October 22nd, 2012 Comments off

It’s no surprise anymore when Broadway attempts to add some extra pizazz to the marquee by sprinkling some Hollywood stardust, whether through film star casting or name brand titles. But four recent news tidbits caught my eye as particularly covered in tinsel (town):

  • Emilia Clarke. Image via O+M.

    It’s official: two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is coming to Broadway April 2013 in Lucky Guy, a play by the late, beloved Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle). A tale of New York journalism during the 1970’s, this play adds additional cache with its director George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart). I imagine tickets are already sold out before they go on sale but…a boy can dream.

  • If that’s not “old hollywood” enough for you, how about a new adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Truman Capote’s classic is getting a fresh (and supposedly more faithful than the Hepburn film) adaptation by Tony-winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out). Those who are more fantasy geek than Tiffany’s chic will also have reason to check it out; the February 2013 bow will star Game of ThronesEmilia Clarke.
  • Multiple Emmy-nominee Sarah Paulson (Game Change, American Horror Story) may not have above the title multiplex stardom, but to me she’s A-list. And now comes news that she is coming back to the stage to star in Roundabout’s revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly. Paulson will be joined in the sweet love story by recent Broadway everyman Danny Burstein (Follies…perhaps he should do La Cage aux Folles next and continue the pattern?).
  • Don’t count out true Broadway glitter, though. The bigger than life new musical Giant, based on the Liz Taylor – Rock Hudson – James Dean classic, is heading to the Public starring Blog favorites Brian d’Arcy James (Smash) and Kate Baldwin (Finian’s Rainbow). Watch the video from their recent promo shoot (after the jump below) and tell me the Great White Way can’t be just as glamorous.

Read more…

Tom Hanks In, Nick Jonas Out & More Theater News

May 11th, 2012 Comments off

Nick Jonas & Rob Bartlett in "How to Succeed...". Photo by Joan Marcus.

What’s that smell in the Broadway air? Dance belt and shattered dreams? Well, yes. But I’m talking about the delightfully floral scent of a theater news potpourri..

  • Michael Riedel at the New York Post broke the news this week that Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) will make his Broadway debut in a new play by Nora Ephron. He’ll play famed tabloid columnist Mike McAlary in Lucky Guy, January 2013. Sleepless in the Newsroom?
  • Movie stars are coming up like weeds, it would seem, because Hanks isn’t the only film favorite coming to the Great White Way—although he is a bit more alive than the other arrival. The New York Times reports that a bio-musical about Chaplin (as in Charlie Chaplin) will begin previews August 10.
  • Lay wreathes at two more Broadway theaters this week as the season ending culling continues. The new musical Leap of Faith, with only a single Tony nomination and disappointing sales, will shutter this Sunday, and the teen friendly reboot of How to Succeed… (currently starring Nick Jonas) will cash it’s last (investment recouped) check on May 20 after 473 regular performances. Expect the death toll to increase in the coming weeks.
  • Reeve Carney & Rebecca Faulkenberry in "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark". Photo by Jacob Cohl.

    Turning the proverbial lemons into lemonade (Is there a lemon flower? Have I lost the thread of my organizing theme already?), the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have cheekily and quite delightfully decided to acknowledge their underrepresentation at the Tony Nominations by celebrating “Tonys”. People named “Tony” or variations thereof will be eligible for free tickets to see the musical at the matinee on Tony Sunday. The rules and regulations are here; there may still be time for a legal name change should you so desire.

  • Feeling like a bud vase of theater instead of a whole bouquet? Scrappy Milk Can Theatre Company is offering an evening of seven ten minute plays, The Snap Shot Plays, this weekend at Shetler Studios. The twist: each play was inspired by a local photographer’s work. Sounds interesting and worth a peak.
  • Isn’t one supposed to throw roses at a diva? Well, get your dozen ready to toss at your TV because Christine (and her beloved Phantom) are making their way to PBS. A filmed performance of the much-discussed sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, will be presented in June. As they say, check your local listings.
  • In the world of grand laurels, I have once again received the honor of being a guest on the radio show This Show is So Gay to discuss all things Broadway. As usual, I embarrass myself at least twice. How I suffer for my art.