Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

In 2019 esteemed four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally celebrates his 80th Birthday and what better way to mark the occasion than with a new production of his classic two-hander Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune?

The list of actors who have taken on the illustrious roles of Frankie and Johnny in the past reads like a who’s who, so naturally producers have enlisted two extraordinary talents for the 2019 revival. “Mama Broadway” herself, Audra McDonald makes a welcomed return to the New York stage – the first since her 2016 pregnancy – and the six-time Tony Award winner is joined on stage by Tony and 2-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon.

McNally’s play about two lonely middle-aged people in New York City, swimming through the murky waters of what might be a one-night stand or the start of a new relationship, first premiered off-Broadway in June 1987, courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club. Initially intended as a 2-week run at New York City Center’s Stage II and starring Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham, the play moved into the larger Stage I for an additional six-week run in October and November that year (with Kenneth Welsh replacing Abraham) and even transferred to the Westside Theatre in December and enjoyed a lengthy run through to March 1989. Kathy Bates won an Obie Award (and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination) in 1988 for her performance as Frankie.

McNally also adapted the play into a 1991 film (adding several characters and locations for the screenplay), which was distributed by Paramount Pictures under the shortened title of “Frankie and Johnny“ and starred Michelle Pfeiffer (who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance) and Al Pacino in the titular roles.

The play finally staged its Broadway premiere at the Belasco Theatre, running from July 2002 to March 2003 and starring Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci, who eventually went on to receive a Tony Award nomination for “Best Actor in a Play,” whilst the production itself was nominated for “Best Revival of a Play”. Rosie Perez and Joe Pantoliano replaced Falco and Tucci from January 2003 to close out the run.

Obie Award winner Arin Arbus makes her Broadway debut as she directs Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon in this first Broadway revival, which, much like Claude Debussy’s enchanting “Clair de Lune” music, may well tug on the heartstrings and evoke a summer of romance before you know what’s hit you.

(Poster image by Miller Mobley / Production photos by Deen van Meer​)

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Running time: 
2hrs 15mins (including 1 intermission)
3 images
About Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune:

In this new Broadway production, Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, two of the most acclaimed actors of their generation, bring the bruised dreamers of Terrence McNally’s classic romance to new life. Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is a portrait of a lonely waitress and a short order cook whose first date turns into a one-night stand – and maybe more.


Terrence McNally
Hunter Arnold, Debbie Bisno and Tom Kirdahy
Arin Arbus
Natasha Katz
Nevin Steinberg
Riccardo Hernandez
Emily Rebholz
Cast list:
Audra McDonald (as Frankie) and Michael Shannon (as Johnny)
Other info:
Hair, Wig & Makeup by J. Jared Janas
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
May 4, 2019
Opening date: 
May 30, 2019
July 28, 2019

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Broadhurst Theatre

235 West 44th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Nearest subway station:
42nd Street - Port Authority Bus Terminal Station

Latest Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune News & Features

Michael Shannon & Audra McDonald in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune announces new Broadway closing date
July 9, 2019

The Broadway revival of Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring 6-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (as Frankie) and Tony and 2-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (as Johnny), will close earlier than scheduled, producers have announced. The production began previews at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre on May 4, 2019, ahead of an official opening on May 30, and will now run through July 28, 2019 (instead of August 25). It will have played a total of 26 previews and 70 regular performances upon closing.

Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon
A New York Theatre Guide to... Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune!
May 30, 2019

Take a look at our video guide to the first production of the 2019-2020 Broadway season... Back in June 1987 esteemed playwright Terrence McNally debuted his two-hander play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune off-Broadway, courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club. Originally starring Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham, the production went on to become a great success, securing an extended off-Broadway run and a transfer to the Westside Theatre where it would continue to play through March 1989.

Interview with Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune star Michael Shannon
May 22, 2019

The "Boardwalk Empire" star is back treading the New York boards opposite Audra McDonald...

Our Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Review

In this delicately written and gently directed production of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune at the Broadhurst Theatre, we watch two characters, in real time, who strip themselves bare - literally and figuratively. Here, however, the nudity is not titillation as much as it is metaphoric.