Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon

Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon will return to Broadway in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

The Broadway revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is expected to begin performances in May 2019.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

In celebration of four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally's upcoming 80th Birthday, a new production of one of his most critically acclaimed plays, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, will be mounted at a yet-to-be confirmed Broadway venue with performances expected to begin in May 2019.

The limited 16-week engagement will see a much-anticipated return to the Great White Way for two of its most celebrated stars as 6-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and Tony and 2-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon take on the roles of Frankie and Johnny, respectively.

Synopsis: "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."

Obie Award winner Arin Arbus will make her Broadway directorial debut with the production, leading a creative team that also features scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, and Hair, Wig & Makeup design by J. Jared Janas.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune originally premiered off-Broadway at New York City Center in October 1987, courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club, and became an instant hit, tranferring to the Westside Theatre in December 1987 and enjoying a successful run through to March 1989. Kathy Bates and Kenneth Welsh were the original stars with Ms. Bates winning an Obie Award in 1988 for her performance. The Broadway premiere ran from July 2002 through to March 2003 at the Belasco Theatre, starring Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci, which earned a Tony nomination for "Best Revival of a Play" in 2003 (with Mr. Tucci also earning a Tony nomination for his performance). Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer also starred in a Garry Marshall-helmed 1991 film adaptation, simply titled "Frankie and Johnny."

Audra McDonald won her record-breaking six Tony Awards for her performances in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, The Gershwins' Porgy and BessA Raisin in the SunRagtimeMaster Class, and Carousel. She also earned Tony nominations for 110 in the Shade, and Marie Christine, and her additional Broadway credits include Henry IVSomething Wonderful, and The Secret Garden. She was last seen on the Broadway stage in Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed in the spring of 2016 and she made her West End debut, reprising her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill in the summer of 2017. Her most notable screen credits include Madame Garderobe in the 2017 live-action remake of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," and the recurring role of Dr. Naomi Bennett in ABC's "Private Practice" from 2007 to 2013.

Michael Shannon made his Broadway debut as Sam in the 2012 production of Grace and returned to the Great White Way to take on the role of James Tyrone, Jr. in the 2016 Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, earning his first Tony Award nomination and winning a Drama Desk Award for his efforts. His Off-Broadway credits include an Obie Award-winning performance in Bug, a Drama Desk-nominated performance in Mistakes Were Made, alongside appearances in Our TownThe Little Flower of East Orange, and Killer Joe. On screen, he has earned Oscar nominations for his roles in "Revolutionary Road" in 2009 and "Nocturnal Animals" in 2017. for Other screen credits include a 2016 Golden Globe-nominated performance in "99 Homes," as well as key roles in "The Shape of Water," "Man of Steel," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Iceman," "Take Shelter," "8 Mile," "Jonah Hex," "Pearl Harbor," and "Groundhog Day."

(Audra McDonald photo by Allison Michael Orenstein / Michael Shannon photo by Lauren Weissler)

Originally published on

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