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LAT Theater Critic Reviews Tom Hanks the Tabloid Journalist

Did New York Post section editors really shout out this kind of stuff back in the heyday day?: “Where’s my nun-rape? Who’s got the subway slasher? I need the red meat. More red meat.”

The late Nora Ephron should know, as she was once a Post reporter. And, no matter what the subject matter for a film, TV project or, in this case, Broadway play, it’s hard to go wrong when you wrangle Tom Hanks for the lead. From today’s front-page Calendar review by LA Times theater critic Charles McNulty:

[Real-life, late Post columnist Mike] McAlary isn’t a completely likable fellow, but some of the best plays ever written (Oedipus Rex and King Lear, for starters) are dominated by figures that fill us with an uncomfortable ambivalence. And in any case, Hanks’ everyman charm renders the problem null and void. Not liking Hanks deserves a category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He doesn’t sand down McAlary’s rough edges and we’re still more or less favorably disposed to the character.

Ain’t that the Hanks truth. McNulty suggests that Lucky Guy as a whole is not quite as successful as its leading man, even surprisingly when the actor revisits McAlary’s Pulitzer Prize-winning close-up moment. But as we all know, the late Ephron could have handed Hanks a circa-1988 Manhattan phone book and it would still have sparked a healthy rush-seating line. Read McNulty’s full review here.

[Image courtesy luckyguyplay.com]

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