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Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

From 425 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Funny, Romantic

About the show

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and Tony and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon bring new life to the bruised dreamers of Terrence McNally's timely and timeless romance. More…

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.

Member Reviews (425)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Funny, Romantic
Avg Score

Banal, Repetitive, Great acting, Unconvincing, Dated

See it if you are fans of AM/MS. Both give strg perfs. Highly realistic prodn, includes cooking, eating, brushing teeth, all-nude sex (tastefully lit)

Don't see it if you want a "woke" script. Even in 1987, J's char was creepy. He wants Fr and relentlessly pursues her. He's controlling/weird. Plot holes!

Clever, Raunchy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if If you liked the movie and sensational acting. Shannon is a bit creepy in his role but good staging, and direction here. Very good.

Don't see it if If nudity bothers you and intense scenes about two wounded people. If you want a lighter play. If you want a more fun play to watch.

Disappointing, Dull, Great acting, Dated

See it if u want to hear the well-written dialogue of McNally delivered by the always-compelling McDonald & Shannon as broken mid-age potential lovers

Don't see it if you want to see a socially conscious play that befits the current #metoo climate; you are uncomfortable with nudity & simulated sex.

Also Like the current revival of Burn This, it is becoming increasingly har... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Absorbing, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you relate to the 80's scene of her middle age people dating, starting relationships, struggling in jobs in a very well-written & acted play

Don't see it if you do not like viewing the tension between two people on a first night of sex with nudity and frank talk.

Static, Unbelievable, Slow, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if You’re a fan of McDonald and/or Shannon, interested in an early McNally play, like romance between an ill-matched pair & Debussy of course

Don't see it if You expect a definitive version of the play, can’t see McDonald and Shannon as working class schlubs, uncomfortable with simulated nude sex

Relevant, Dated, Problematic, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you want to see Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon perform on stage, which they do wonderfully, regardless of how problematic the play is.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that comes off as, at best, tone-deaf, and at worst, harmful, in the #MeToo era.

Great writing, Romantic, Great acting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Great Acting, they work at the same place, go on a date and spend the night together and emotions and life comes with it.

Don't see it if Nudity and No Singing. Not flash or fast moving.

Also Love the chemistry between the two actors.

Dated, Romantic, Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if You’d love to see these two actors at the top of their form, in a modern classic that is both heartfelt and touching.

Don't see it if You worry that dated plays with pushy male romantic leads don’t stand up in the current era, even if you’re a romantic at heart.

Absorbing, Romantic, Great acting

See it if you like a drama with great character studies. Wonderful performance by both actors. There is nudity but tastefully done.

Don't see it if you don't like nudity in plays or like more action in the plot.

Also I really liked the development of the characters, especially Audra's. ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Don't miss the chance to see McDonald & Shannon shine & make you feel the gamut of emotions; beautifully written, lots of humor.

Don't see it if intimacy/nudity/profanity/sexuality make you uncomfortable; intensity is not your thing; great story could use a little editing.

Outdated, Great acting

See it if You love a two person play with great acting

Don't see it if You are expecting this piece to with stand the test of time

Also I’m a little disappointed that the powers that be brought this play ba... Read more Read less

Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like to watch two lonely people in a casual relationship develop a powerful bond. Michael Shannon & Audra McDonald are magic.

Don't see it if You dislike nudity on stage. Get depressed over what could’ve been. Several references to the 1980s.

Also The last version of this play that I saw was with Stanley Tucci and Ed... Read more Read less

Raunchy, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You want to see two very talented actors play off each other. A small story on a big stage that does it well. Very quirky.

Don't see it if You don't like quirky theater or disliking a character. The story is a little dated and very odd.

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love good acting.McDonald &Shannon are perfect in the roles.They balance sexual attraction/fear of commitment/vulnerability perfectly

Don't see it if you can't deal with seeing Audra on stage and not hearing her sing. Let her remind you what a gifted and brilliant actress she is!

Labored, No charisma, Dated, Slow, Disappointing

See it if You love McNally. He chose this cast and approved the production. You dont mind odd timing.

Don't see it if You dont like nudity when the actors are self conscious and coy. Deadly. Slow. Gaps in dialogue. Boring silences not building tension.

Also Shannon made the dialog seem particularly off putting. His almost dead... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Funny, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if story about 2 damaged characters finding human connections thru walls built up to hide the pain; many funny moments & touching ones

Don't see it if nudity and sex scenes; long second act; a male character that frequently comes across as creepy* (an excellent Michael Shannon)

Also *thought-provoking in determining how I felt about the ending.

Raunchy, Overrated, Cliched, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you never saw the original with Kathy Bates and want to see all of McNally's plays - OK.

Don't see it if you are looking for a revelation in theater. This is not it. Sadly.

Also Saw the original and this production is miscast with 2 good looking ra... Read more Read less

Repetitive/tedious, Too long- needs editing, Thought-provoking, Resonant theme, Superb acting

See it if you are Ok with sexuality, like themes of people searching for love & meaning, overcoming psychological hardship & appreciate great acting.

Don't see it if you dislike repetitive dialog (even when it's good) that becomes tedious, overly long plays in need of editing & a very obnoxious character.

Great acting, Adult

See it if Intense man decides he's in love w a lonely woman he barely knows and tries to convince her despite her hesitations and explicitly saying No

Don't see it if Relentless man steamrolling after a woman is triggering: ignores her consent. Nudity, sex scene, or full male and female nudity offends you.

Also Diversity: Black female lead in a two person show.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Quirky, Absorbing

See it if Terrence McNally combined with Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon are a hit and tour de force!

Don't see it if If you don’t like brilliance!

Romantic, Slow, Edgy, Great acting

See it if see great acting in a well constructed two-person play.

Don't see it if need more than just two-people. not a lot of action, just a lot of talk - and it can be trimmed.

Unusual casting parining of audra mcdoland with micheal shannon, interesting character study, and naked bodies exposed

See it if you are curious to see what a 6 time Tony Award winner looks like naked. I admit it. I was and I'm Gay. NO curiosity to see Shannon naked.

Don't see it if you were hoping for some new revelation to the meat of McNally's play because there isn't any. It's total STUNT CASTING - doesn't work!!

Moving, Great acting, Deliberate

See it if You want to see two amazing actors tackle a very untraditional love story.

Don't see it if You dislike two-person plays.

Romantic, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like either or both of the stars. It is extremely well acted. I got a rush ticket 15 minutes before curtain and the house was sparse.

Don't see it if you are expecting a lot of action. This is a dialogue heavy show and often times felt slow moving

Slow, Intense, Disappointing, Great acting, Dated

See it if You love these actors—they excel.

Don't see it if A woman explicitly telling a man to leave her apartment and he repeatedly refuses will bother you.

Also I know this is set in the 1980s, but what is a contemporary audience m... Read more Read less

May 30th, 2019
"Time has been good to 'Frankie and Johnny.' Its sentimentality hasn’t curdled the way it has in some of Mr. McNally’s many other plays...The obvious overstretching of the plot to fill two acts doesn’t matter as the play’s bigger mysteries click into place. What begins as a basic inquiry into the...
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May 30th, 2019
"When Johnny refuses to leave Frankie’s apartment, the creepiness factor is hard to avoid, especially since Shannon has used his lanky frame and craggy face to convey menace so successfully in the past. But for more than two hours, these highly gifted actors—directed by Arin Arbus, and beautifull...
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May 30th, 2019
"While McDonald and Shannon are both fun to watch, their turbulent chemistry alone doesn’t sustain McNally’s somewhat overstretched play...There’s also, for all the play’s wisecracking, just something not quite enjoyable in the way 'Frankie & Johnny' romanticizes a man pushing and pushing until h...
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May 30th, 2019
"It could be argued that the casting is not ideal...And yet, the brilliant actors make it work. McDonald superbly conveys her character's cynicism through world-weary body language and vocal inflections. And Shannon unveils his formidable, and too rarely seen, comic talents to hilarious effect; h...
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Cast & Creatives (4)