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Tom Hanks to make Broadway debut in new Nora Ephron play

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NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Tom Hanks will make hisBroadway debut playing a tabloid journalist in "Lucky Guy", anew drama by the late Nora Ephron, producers said in a statementon Thursday.

The Hollywood star will continue his long collaboration withEphron that has included "Sleepless in Seattle" in 1993 and"You've Got Mail" in 1998. Ephron died in June at the age of 71of complications from leukemia.

Based on a true story, "Lucky Guy" opens in April next year,the statement said, and dramatizes the rise and fall of formertabloid columnist Mike McAlary as he covers the police scandalsof a polarized, crime-ridden 1980s New York. McAlary died aged41 in 1998.

Hanks, 56, has won two best actor Oscars for hisperformances in "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump" and is knownfor other popular films, but his stage acting has been limitedto small Shakespeare productions in the 1970s.

Ephron started as a tabloid reporter before becoming knownas a writer of essays, books and screenplays. She pennedromantic comedies such as 1989's "When Harry Met Sally", andwrote and directed 2009's "Julie & Julia".

"Lucky Guy" is billed as a drama with touches of her famedacerbic tone.

Her first Broadway play, "Imaginary Friends", was producedin 2002 and starred Cherry Jones and Swoosie Kurtz. The play waslargely panned by critics.

She also co-authored "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" with hersister Delia, which was performed Off-Broadway to positivereviews in 2009 and enjoyed a long run followed by a nationaltour.

(Reporting by Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Christine Kearneyand Dale Hudson)

((andrea.burzynski@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: STAGE TOMHANKS/NORAEPHRON