This is no April Fool’s joke – Tom Hanks is taking on Broadway starting April 1, 2013. Hanks, 56, will make his debut in Lucky Guy, a play about the late New York columnist Mike McAlary, who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his coverage of corruption in the city, the same year he died of cancer at the age of 41. Lucky Guy was written by Nora Ephron, a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay, who passed away in June at the age of 71.

This does not mark the first collaboration between Ephron and Hanks; Ephron wrote and directed the Hanks-starring vehicles Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Ephron is also responsible for such films as When Harry Met Sally (screenwriter/producer), Bewitched (writer/director/producer) and Julie & Julia (writer/director/producer).

The prospects for Lucky Guy remain up in the air, however. For all of her hits, Ephron did not conquer Broadway the way she did Hollywood. Her only other Broadway play, Imaginary Friends, which ran in 2002, was not particularly well-received. However, her two previous collaborations with Hanks were wildly successful; Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail both grossed over $200 million at the box office. Perhaps Hanks, a two-time Academy Award Winner for Best Actor (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump), can bring his film magic to the stage and help Ephron achieve Broadway acclaim posthumously.

Lucky Guy will be helmed by George C. Wolfe, a two-time Tony Award-winner for his directing work on 1993’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and 1996’s Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk. Previews for Lucky Guy begin on March 1, with opening night scheduled for April 1 at the Broadhurst Theater. Lucky Guy will have a limited release and tickets will be on sale through May 19. —Hal Sundt

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