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Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

From 418 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 (418)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Funny, Romantic

70
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!

79
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.

76
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

91
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.

83
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.

90
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.

77
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

88
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

84
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.

76
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.

95
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!

83
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.

79
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

72
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.

77
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.

86
Clever, Refreshing, Must see, Great acting, Funny

See it if You want to see two great actors perform in this enchanting play.

Don't see it if you are offended by vulgar scene and you want to see a musical.

86
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.

71
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

80
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

71
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

75
#metoo, Kinda creepy, Slow, Dated, Great acting

See it if you're looking for a master class in acting from two stage legends; you can overlook the dated idea of romance; you liked the original

Don't see it if you think that a man who refuses to leave when asked repeatedly isn't romantic; your sensibilities on consent have entered the 21st century

Also Yeah, Audra and Michael are both excellent in this production. But the... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if McDonald and Shannon. Naked and exposed.

Don't see it if Naked and exposed under the moonlight is not for everyone.

91
Must see, Intelligent, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like great theater, to see a surprising mix of drama & comedy, to see amazing actors on stage. If you want to spend a great nite out.

Don't see it if You don't like drama mixed with comedy, you aren't ok with nudity, if you want to see big cast on stage

Also These two work so well t oghether. The dynamics between the two is so ... Read more Read less

90
Quirky, Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You love great dramedies with great actors. McDonald was much deserving of her nomination and Shannon should have been, at least, nominated

Don't see it if you do not like nudity or foul language

81
Thought-provoking, Overrated, Great acting, Dated, Ambitious

See it if Wonderful first class production with strong casting on paper who mine the pathos and humor with great skill

Don't see it if Sense that a longer run would make for a richer experience; another disappointing commercial run for a McNally classic


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)