Upcoming Film To Tell the Story of Making Mary Poppins

Saving Mr. BanksThe Broadway stage version of Mary Poppins recently closed, but another iteration of the beloved musical will be hitting the big screen on December 13 when the new film Saving Mr. Banks opens. The movie tells the behind-the-scenes tale of Walt Disney’s effort to get the Mary Poppins books made into a movie musical.

As a Disney blurb about Saving Mr. Banks describes it, “When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine.”

Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, while Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson takes on the role of P.L. Travers, the woman who wrote the original Mary Poppins stories. Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak play the Sherman brothers, the men who wrote the classic score to the Mary Poppins movie.

Theatre World Awards Go To Tom Sturridge, Bertie Carvel, and More

Tom Sturridge

Tom Sturridge

The 2013 Theatre World Award winners have been announced. The honorees have been recognized for making an outstanding debut performance on or off-Broadway. Tom Hanks is the most recognizable name on the list, and among the most buzzed about this season are Bertie Carvel (Matilda), Tom Sturridge (Orphans), Rob McClure (Chaplin), and Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody). Other winners include Carrie Coon, Shalita Grant, Brandon J. Dirden, Valisia LeKae, Ruthie Ann Miles, Yvonne Strahovski, and Conrad Ricamora.

Theatre World has also bestowed a pair of special honors to particular individuals. The 2013 Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater has gone to Jonny Orsini for his work in The Nance. Alan Alda is being given the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The honorees will be recognized at the 69th Annual Theatre World Awards ceremony, taking place at the Music Box Theater on June 3. Theater journalist Peter Filichia will serve as host for the festivities. For more information, visit www.theatreworldawards.org.

Tony Nominated Lucky Guy Recoups Investment

Lucky Guy Broadway ShowAfter just eight weeks on Broadway, the Nora Ephron play Lucky Guy has recouped its investment. Its very unusual for a Broadway show to earn back its capitalization so quickly, but then again there is no other Broadway show out there featuring international film star Tom Hanks, who is making his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy.

In addition to its excellent financial performance, the producers have another reason to be happy: Lucky Guy recently earned a total of six Tony Award nominations. The play was recognized with nods for Best Play, Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Featured Actor (Courtney B. Vance), and Best Actor for Tom Hanks.

The story of colorful real-life New York City tabloid columnist Mike McAlary, Lucky Guy started preview performances on March 1st. The production continues its limited run at the Broadhurst Theatre through July 3.

Tom Hanks Hosts Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration June 10

Tom HanksLucky Guy star and Tony Award nominee Tom Hanks will serve as host for “Something Wonderful! The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein”. A gala benefit to raise funds for the Irish Repertory Theatre, this special concert will be held at the Broadhurst Theatre on June 10.

Featuring Shirley Jones, the evening will include an array of cherished Rodgers & Hammerstein’s songs, such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” and “Shall We Dance?”. Jones has a strong association with the famed songwriting team, as she appeared in the film versions of their classic musicals Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel.

Tickets to “Something Wonderful!” are $150-$350. Call 212-727-2737 or go to www.IrishRep.org for details.

Further Casting for Lucky Guy, Starring Tom Hanks, Announced

It has already been big news that Tom Hanks will be hitting the Broadway stage for the first time in early 2013 in the new play Lucky Guy, but now the names of many of his castmates have also been announced.  Hanks will be reunited with Peter Scolari (Magic/Bird, Sly Fox), his co-star on the TV comedy Bosom Buddies, and he was also be joined by Richard Masur (Democracy), Christopher McDonald (Chicago), and Peter Gerety (The Lieutenant of Inishmore).

In Lucky Guy, Tom Hanks plays columnist Mike McAlary.  The play was written by the late Nora Ephron, who worked with Hanks in the films Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.  Directed by George C. Wolfe, Lucky Guy will start preview performances at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 1, 2013, and then open on April 1.

The cast of Lucky Guy will also include Stephen Tyrone Williams, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Deirdre Lovejoy, Michael Gaston and Dustyn Gulledge.

Tom Hanks Confirmed To Star in Lucky Guy on Broadway

It has finally been confirmed that Tom Hanks will indeed be making his Broadway debut in the upcoming Broadway play, Lucky Guy.  Written by the late Nora Ephron and directed by George C. Wolfe, Lucky Guy is a biographical drama about controversial newspaper columnist Mike McAlary.  Hanks and Nora Ephron of course had a history of working together, with Hanks starring in the Ephron-penned films Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

Perhaps because of Tom Hanks’ generally busy movie schedule (his latest, Cloud Atlas, is opening soon), Lucky Guy is currently scheduled for what appear to be a very limited run.  The play will begin preview performances at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 1 and open on April 1, but it is only selling tickets through May 19.  However, if ticket sales are as good as one would expect for a Broadway turn by one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, it is always possible that the production could extend.

 

Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy Still On Track to Broadway

Nora Ephron

Despite her recent death, writer Nora Ephron’s final play, Lucky Guy, is still set to come to Broadway.  A few months ago it was announced that Tom Hanks would star in the play about columnist Mike McAlary.  Though no official casting details have been confirmed recently, a new Equity casting notice claims that the role of McAlary has been cast, which may be a clue that Tom Hanks is still attached.

George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart) is expected to direct Lucky Guy, which is planning to start previews in March of 2013 at a Shubert theater that has yet to be announced.  In a previous statement made to the New York Times, producer Colin Callender said,  “We are honored to be part of her legacy and remain committed to seeing her magnificent work ‘Lucky Guy’ shine on Broadway and can think of no more fitting tribute to her extraordinary writing and remarkable body of work.”

Lucky Guy is about the life and career of New York Post and New York Daily News columnist Mike McAlary, who earned a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the famed Abner Louima case.  A previous version, titled Stories About McAlary, had a reading starring Hugh Jackman in 2010.