This Week On Stage: Tom Hanks and Cyndi Lauper take on Broadway

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

It was a notable week on the boards, one that included the Broadway debut of a most-beloved film star, a reboot of a musical two-hander with quite a vocal fanbase, and the Main Stem composing debut of an ’80s pop icon. (Click on the links below to read our full reviews.)

Lucky Guy A smoky, New York-flavored ode to Mike McAlary, the respected and feared tabloid journo who exposed corruption in the NYC police ranks, Lucky Guy brings two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks to the Great White Way, courtesy of a script by the late, adored Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle). But despite good notices for Hanks in most circles, critic Lisa Schwarzbaum was duly unimpressed, citing that “two hours of Lucky Guy and a theater-goer with no previous knowledge of McAlary and his tabloid cronies will still have no idea why Ephron was so enamored of this blowhard” and that the production “feels so inconsequential and dramatically inert.” EW grade: C+

The Last Five Years Jason Robert Brown has remounted his forward/reverse 2002 tuner (which helped launch actors Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott into the musical stratosphere), much to the delight of sheet music-clasping show-queens everywhere. So, the results? Mixed, according to critic Melissa Rose Bernardo: the score remains “far and away [Brown’s] finest work” but “even 11 years from now, the show will have the same fatal flaw of the finely tuned new revival … the completely unlikable on-stage couple who spend nearly 90 minutes singing at (yes, at) each other. EW grade: B–

Kinky Boots She popped (bopped?) up on Broadway once before as Pirate Jenny in a 2006 revival of The Threepenny Opera, but now Cyndi Lauper can add one more hyphenate to her considerable resume: composer. She and Harvey Fierstein have collaborated on a musicalization of the 2005 Brit indie flick, but will she bop, you bop and they bop? Our Thom Geier certainly did, citing that the show “delivers some pumps-up kicks,” and praises its lead actor, Billy Porter, “who portrays drag queen Lola with enough sequined swagger to make RuPaul look like a wallflower.” EW grade: B+

Read more:
Phish frontman Trey Anastasio on his new Broadway show ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Read the Nominess for the 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards
Listen to a song from new ‘Big Fish’ musical — EXCLUSIVE

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