Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Deen Van Meer


  • HR


Opening Night:
May 30, 2019
August 25, 2019

Theater: Broadhurst Theatre / 235 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036


Two monumental actors — Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon — join forces in a play that is as raw as it is romantic, as visceral as it is vibrant, and as funny as it is breathtaking.

When a diner waitress and a short order cook meet for a night of fiery passion, they expect a return to loneliness. But as desire turns into the possibility of love, they realize that true connection means being unafraid to reach for the moon.

  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

    Review: ‘Frankie and Johnny’ Were Lovers. Then Came Morning.

    Jesse Green

    May 30, 2019: Everyone wants to hear Audra McDonald sing. So it’s a clever touch that Arin Arbus’s production of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” — which despite the Debussy in its title is not a musical — gives Ms. McDonald a huge aria right off the bat. More of a duet, really, though her co-star, Michael Shannon, isn’t so much singing as grunting. That’s because “Frankie and Johnny,” which opened on Thursday at the Broadhurst Theater, begins with the sounds of Frankie (Ms. McDonald) and Johnny (Mr. Shannon) making love: “noisy, ecstatic and familiar,” as the script, by Terrence McNally, puts it. Familiar, that is, if you’re used to Puccini orgasms. It could have been a stumbling block for this touching revival of the 1987 play that Ms. McDonald (a six-time Tony Award winner) and Mr. Shannon (twice nominated for an Oscar) are hardly the dowdy, downtrodden types Mr. McNally calls for. Unlike Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham, who starred in the first production (Kenneth Welsh soon took over as Johnny), they arrive onstage with fabulous, shiny auras.

  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

    ‘Frankie And Johnny In The Clair De Lune’ Broadway Review: Audra McDonald, Michael Shannon And New Hope

    Greg Evans

    May 30, 2019: The two-act, post-coital fencing match, with its scattered triumphs and set-backs, remains as poignant as ever, moving, sad, funny and, at a moment or two, the very definition of romantic, not least when Debussy arrives on the radio and give the play its title. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” of course, plays only in our heads, or mine anyway. And with lesser talent than Arbus, McDonald and Shannon, Frankie and Johnny could become drowned out by that song that’s not even mentioned. It’s not a stretch to imagine McNally’s play relegated to some heap of outdated artifacts, a depiction of romance from well before anyone had ever heard of Aziz Ansari.

  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

    'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune': Theater Review

    Frank Scheck

    May 30, 2019: It's easy to see why Terrence McNally's 1987 romantic two-hander is being presented on Broadway less than 20 years after its last incarnation. Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, about one very long night in which two lonely souls debate whether or not to take a chance on love, is a veritable feast for actors. And in the new revival directed by Arin Arbus, Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon wolf it down with gusto.

  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

    ‘Frankie and Johnny’ review: More than skin is bared in tender revival

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    May 30, 2019: His-and-her nudity is front and center in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” — but this rom-dram’s success isn’t measured in flesh alone. Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon both bare their bodies and their feelings as Frankie, a guarded waitress, and Johnny, a pushy cook in the same greasy spoon, whose one-night stand could lead to more. So exposed are they that the revival that opened Thursday should be rated X-hilarating.



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