The Forrest Gump star plays real life tabloid reporter Mike McAlary in Lucky Guy, which was written by the actor's longtime friend and collaborator Nora Ephron prior to her death from cancer last year.
The show, which co-stars Maura Tierney, Peter Scolari and Courtney B. Vance, opened at Manhattan's Broadhurst Theatre on Monday night, and Hanks' portrayal of the famed New York journalist has won over reviewers.
Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press calls the actor's stage turn "classic Hanks", adding: "(He is) lovable, touching and funny... He makes a great Broadway debut, making McAlary a lovable rogue we have to root for even if we sometimes shouldn't."
The New York Post's Elisabeth Vincentelli is also full of praise for the Oscar winner, adding: "You may have heard that Tom Hanks, making his Broadway debut, is the star of the show - and he is, his Everyman-relatable charm coming through as strongly onstage as it does on-screen."
Elysa Gardner of USA Today commends Ephron's play as "buoyantly entertaining" and as "uplifting as the thinking women's (and men's) chick flicks that made her one of the most successful screenwriters of the late 20th century...".
She adds: "(Hanks) also makes McAlary's human fallibility part of his appeal, bringing to the role a crustier version of the unmannered charm that made Hanks one of Hollywood's most likable leading men."
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter concludes the actor makes a "confidently unshowy Broadway debut" and adds: "Hanks doesn't allow his nice-guy persona to beatify McAlary... Hanks is not afraid to make the character an abrasive jerk, yet the actor's innate integrity ensures that we feel for Mike when he takes some hard knocks."
During the curtain call of the opening night production, the cast paid tribute to screenwriter/director Ephron by showing a picture of the play's author and leading the audience in a round of applause.