Tom Hanks sporting ‘80’s-ish facial hair was explaining the difference between his naturally grown mustache and that of the character he portrays in his Broadway debut Lucky Guy, the play by the late Nora Ephron based on the life of Mike McAlary. His went out in tough bristles, Hanks gesticulated madly bringing his hands under his nose where a tight, well clipped fringe sat by contrast. A gaggle of interviewers laughed.
The mood at the Broadhurst Theater and at Gotham Hall for Lucky Guy’s opening night on Monday was bittersweet exuberance: with the tearful final moment of the play, when Hanks, as McAlary after a near death accident and sick with the cancer that killed him, delivers a weighty speech and a portrait of Nora Ephron hangs over the stage. Hanks was not the only one crying.