'FRANKIE AND JOHNNY'
In the new Broadway production, Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, two of the most acclaimed actors of their generation, bring new life to the bruised dreamers of Terrence McNally’s timely and timeless romance Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Director Arin Arbus, in her Broadway debut, directs this portrait of a lonely waitress and a short order cook whose first date turns into a one-night stand – and maybe more.
Over a night filled with intimate thoughts and outlandish coincidences, meatloaf sandwiches and moonlit dreams, piano suites and the sweetest talk, they realize that making love is easy—falling in love is hard.
Originally produced more than 30 years ago Off-Broadway, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is one of McNally’s most acclaimed plays and will appear on Broadway as the playwright celebrates his 80th birthday. The play was a runaway hit from 1987 to 1989, returned to Broadway in a highly praised production in 2002 and was also turned into a feature film.
New York Times Critic’s Pick
“Two of the best performances on Broadway. Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon’s chemistry burns up the stage.” – The Daily Beast
“Superb! As hilarious as it is touching.” – The Hollywood Reporter
AUDRA McDONALD is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts—America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts— from President Barack Obama. In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill—the role that also served as the vehicle for her 2017 debut on London’s West End (2018 Olivier Award nomination)—she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination), and Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The Juilliard-trained soprano’s opera credits include La voix humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera. On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s “Private Practice.” She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” and has received nominations for “Wit,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” Having first appeared as Liz Lawrence on CBS’s “The Good Wife,” she can now be seen on CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight,” which launches its third season in 2019. On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and the movie-musical Hello Again. McDonald has released five solo albums on the Nonesuch label and recently released a new recording, Sing Happy, with the New York Philharmonic on Decca Gold. She also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
Two-time Academy Award nominee MICHAEL SHANNON is making his mark working with many of the industry's most honored talents and treading the boards in the world's most respected theatres. Recently, Shannon starred in the Academy Award-winning Shape of Water. He has appeared opposite Andrew Garfield in 99 Homes, and co-starred with Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in Freeheld. Shannon has also starred in The Night Before opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Lizzy Caplan, and Jeff Nichol’s Midnight Special opposite Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton and Sam Shepard. Shannon’s previous collaborations with Nichols include Take Shelter, for which he received a 2011 Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor; as well as the films Mud and Shotgun Stories. Shannon has also starred in Siofra Campbell’s The Price opposite Noomi Rapace, Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire, Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon, Matthew M. Ross’ Frank and Lola opposite Imogen Poots, and Untitled Joshua Marston Project, co-starring opposite Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates and Danny Glover. Most notably, Shannon made his mark in an Oscar-nominated supporting role in Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. With over forty roles in film, Shannon's credits include John McNaughton's The Harvest, Jake Paltrow’s The Young Ones, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Ariel Vromen's The Iceman, David Koepp's Premium Rush, Liza Johnson's Return, Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done and Bad Lieutenant, Sydney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, William Friedkin's Bug, Curtis Hanson's Lucky You, Michael Bay's Bad Boys II, Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, David McNally's Kangaroo Jack, Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, John Waters' Cecil B. DeMented, Noah Buschel's The Missing Person and Shana Feste's The Greatest. For all his roles on screen, Shannon maintains a connection to theatre. In 2012, Shannon appeared opposite Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, and Kate Arrington in Grace at the Cort Theatre, for which he was nominated for a 2013 Distinguished Performance Drama League Award. In 2010, he led Craig Wright's Off-Broadway play, Mistakes Were Made, at the Barrow Street Theater, which earned him an Outstanding Lead Actor Lortel Award nomination, an Outstanding Actor in a Play Drama Desk Award nomination, an Outstanding Solo Performance Outer Critics Award nomination, and a Distinguished Performance Drama League Award nomination. Shannon also starred in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, earning a Tony Award nomination. Additional theatre credits include Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep Theatre), Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre), Lady (Rattlestick Theatre), The Metal Children (Vineyard Theatre), The Little Flower of East Orange (Public Theatre), The Pillowman and Man From Nebraska (Steppenwolf Theatre), Bug (Barrow Street Theatre, Red Orchid Theatre and Gate Theatre), Mr. Kolpert and The Killer (Red Orchid Theatre), Killer Joe (SoHo Playhouse, Next Lab Theatre and Vaudeville Theatre), The Idiot (Lookingglass Theatre) and Woyzeck (Gate Theatre). On television, Shannon’s credits include Martin Scorsese's HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire,” co-starring Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald.
Director ARIN ARBUS served as the Associate Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience for a decade, where she directed The Winter’s Tale, The Skin of Our Teeth (Obie Award), repertory productions of Strindberg’s The Father and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, as well as King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Measure for Measure and Othello. She staged Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera and La Traviata at Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. She was a Drama League Directing Fellow, a Princess Grace Award Recipient, a member of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, a Samuel H. Scripps Award Recipient. In association with Rehabilitation Through the Arts, Arbus led an all-male theatre company of inmates for several years at Woodbourne Correctional Facility—a medium security prison in upstate New York. Last summer she directed an Arabic adaptation of The Tempest, performed by refugees in a Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece for The Campfire Project.
TERRENCE McNALLY has had a remarkably far-ranging career spanning six decades. He is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won four Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He has written a number of TV scripts, including “Andre’s Mother,” for which he won an Emmy Award. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards. In 1996 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote the book for the Tony-nominated musical The Visit, which opened on Broadway in the spring of 2015 with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb. He wrote the libretto for the operas Great Scott and Dead Man Walking, both with music by Jake Heggie. He recently garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Great Scott. He is the writer of the book for the musical Anastasia, which is currently playing on Broadway. Other plays include Tony-nominated Best Play Mothers and Sons; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Lisbon Traviata; A Perfect Ganesh; Corpus Christi; Bad Habits; Next; The Ritz; It’s Only a Play; Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?; and The Stendhal Syndrome.