Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon will share the stage in a Broadway-bound revival of Terrence McNally’s play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. The production comes in celebration of the four-time Tony Award-winning playwright’s 80th birthday. Directed by Arin Arbus, the strictly-limited engagement will begin previews in May at a Shubert Theatre to be announced at a later date.
“In this new Broadway production, Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, two of the most acclaimed actors of their generation, will bring the bruised dreamers of Terrence McNally’s classic romance to new life. 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.”
McDonald is one of Broadway’s most sought-after leading ladies, having starred in plays and musicals alike, including Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Ragtime, Master Class (also by McNally), Porgy & Bess, and Carousel. McDonald, who possesses a distinctive singing voice, enjoys a concert career, as well as regular appearances on television and film.
Michael Shannon is best-known for his film work, including his role in the 2018 Best Picture Academy Award winner The Shape of Water. He is Academy Award-nominated for his performances in Revolutionary Road and Nocturnal Animals. He is no stranger to the Broadway stage, however, having appeared in the most recent Broadway revival of A Long Day’s Journey into Night where he was Tony-nominated for his performance opposite Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne.
Terrence McNally is well known as both a playwright and the author of the books for musicals such as Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, and The Full Monty. Among his myriad celebrated plays are The Ritz, Love! Valor! Compassion!, Master Class, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, It’s Only a Play and Deuce.
The creative team for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune will include Riccardo Hernandez (Sets), Emily Rebholz (Costumes), Natasha Katz (Lighting), Nevin Steinberg (Sound), and J. Jared Janas (Hair, Wig, and Makeup).
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.