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Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

From 402 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 (402)


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

Relevant, Clever, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You are interested on how simple or difficult relationships can be.

Don't see it if You are expecting a lot of action.

Dated, Raunchy, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if You Love Audra.

Don't see it if you can't do nudity

Great acting, Entertaining, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon.......while Audra is not utilizing her musical talents, she is a wonderful actress.

Don't see it if If you don’t like romantic relationship storiest.....

Well directed, Audra mcdonald and michael shannon are wonderful in this well written moving play, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want to see a moving, well written, well acted, well directed play

Don't see it if offended by nudity,adult situations--want to see McDonald sing or Shannon be disturbing

Raunchy, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You enjoy a two hour dialogue, with an attempt at humor during some points.

Don't see it if You don’t want to fall asleep during an expensive performance.

Also It is NOT appropriate for children at all, but I didn’t see that anywh... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if Great acting craft. The two actors had great chemistry & propelled the show along. They keep you invested in the outcome.

Don't see it if The story of this romance is modern with no frills. Avoid if you don’t enjoy a “talky” play.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense, Romantic

See it if I saw the final performance on 7/28.Both Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon gave OUTSTANDING performances!

Don't see it if The only reason not to have seen this show, other than that it's now finished it's run, is because there's some nudity & sex which might be

Great acting, Great writing, Quirky, Raunchy, Romantic

See it if McDonald meets McNally makes your meter move.

Don't see it if you're a prude.

Delightful, Clever, Great acting, Funny

See it if you like a wonderful love s that you can watch while laughing out loud. Frankie resists while Johnny persists and the audience enjoys!

Don't see it if you don't want to see two, incredibly talented actors play middle-aged, ordinary people finding love.

Slow, Raunchy, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if If you're a fan of the actors...however Audra doesn't sing and Michael Shannon mostly plays his character like a scary stalker.

Don't see it if Audra doesn't sing and as much as I wanted to like it, there was no chemistry and I found Johnny to be a crude bully.

Also I was very disappointed since I really wanted to like the show, howeve... Read more Read less

Masterful, Great acting

See it if wonderfully acted

Don't see it if You hate plays

Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing

See it if If you are a "bruised dreamer" and/or a fan of Terrence McNally's works. It's very relatable. very.

Don't see it if If you've saw the show in the 80's and are expecting the physical vulnerability of Kathy Bates and also if you are offended by nudity


See it if You love a dramedy. Aura & Michael are a tour de force!

Don't see it if You don't appreciate nudity or sexual explicitness.

Romantic, Funny, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you’ve ever been single, lonely, over forty, and given up on love...Frankie and Johnny is a must see play!!!

Don't see it if The very beginning of the play is a sex scene that sets the play off. As far as I’m concerned, it’s relevant. This May be uncomfortable.


See it if Can't think of any reason to see it as McDonald's performance was spot on, but Shannon was unconvincing and it was anything but romantic.

Don't see it if you like a good plot, a meaningful script, convincing acting, fine humour and a memorable show, as this production has none of those.

During previews
Dated, Aimless story, Slow, Exceptional acting

See it if Audra gives probably the most natural performance of a subtle and complicated character I've ever seen. Shannon is also great.

Don't see it if story rambles & at the end amounts to little. Intermission really killed any pace since at no point is there any hook into the next scene

Also It's not necessarily a bad text. It just a bunch of scenes strung toge... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Realistic, Slow

See it if This show really gets by and is elevated due to the exceptional very natural performances from both leads.

Don't see it if The story is kind of slow with several scenes that don't amount to much. Would have enjoyed it better if it were 90min.

During previews
See it from the orchestra if you can, Thoughtful, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy two great actors working with a beautiful script to paint a delicate picture for you. Two grand performances!

Don't see it if You don’t like wordy plays. Not a lot of action just simple beautiful acting at its best.

Also I found the set (from the mezzanine) very distracting. I mean I get it... Read more Read less

During previews
Smart, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if A wonderful script performed at the highest level by two outstanding actors. Loved every minute of it. Smart, poignant, funny.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about relationships.

During previews
Quirky, Cliched, Resonant, Romantic, Slow

See it if McNally's valentine to a blue-collar, hetero couple's baby steps towards romance is both touching and simplistic; heartfelt but maudlin

Don't see it if Leads ok but flawed - Shannon is intense without showing any needed charm; McDonald is vulnerable but lower class background feels forced

During previews
Beautiful remounting of mcnally's paean to the possibility of connection even love between two lost souls; but script loses steam in 2nd act

See it if gorgeous tone poem/opera-like production shows how extreme optimism/pessimism can reconcile; memorable music; towering Audra/ Shannon leads

Don't see it if repetitious; after volcanic 1st act, we know this couple's MO; starting midway thru 2nd act play drifts until reaching uneasy rapprochement

Also Opera: One can see this play as a type of opera where 2 different life... Read more Read less

During previews
Romantic, Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Both are similar in that they’re two-handers about sad individuals who find each other.

Don't see it if you’re looking for something light and uplifting. This is melancholic and may be too real for some people.

During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Edgy, Raw, Astonishing

See it if two marvelous actors exquisitely directed to perform an exceptional script excites you. "Was ever a woman in this humor wooed?"

Don't see it if you expect theater to be easy to watch. Although there are many laughs the layered revelations & emotions they evoke hit home hard.

During previews
Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Romantic, Delightful

See it if You want to see a wonderful 2 hander ! The actors are superb, they draw you in from the very first moment ! Perfect staging !

Don't see it if Only reason not to see this would be if you can’t deal with simulated sex scenes and some male nudity.

During previews
Cleaver and quick-witted dialogue, Great chemistry, Romantic and funny, Debussy's "clair de lune"

See it if Coworkers at an NY restaurant struggle to overcome loneliness and establish a relationship. McDonald and Shannon excellent and well matched.

Don't see it if Brief nudity, sexual language and content. You don’t want to see a two-hander with somewhat dated content.

Also Realistic portrayal of the fears and hesitations of falling in love an... 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)