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Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

B-

This revival of Terrence McNally’s rapturously romantic 1987 comedy begins with Edie Falco (The Sopranos) and Stanley Tucci (Road to Perdition) cavorting amorously in just about the fullest monty you can imagine. Yet this isn’t the loud, hype-driving ”naked” of Broadway’s The Graduate. Instead, the moment feels intimate and poignant — which is the night’s predominant tone. Set in one gorgeously lit tenement room, the play features a pumped-up Tucci as Johnny, an aging, aggressive short-order cook who insists that weary waitress Frankie (Falco) commit her life to his after one bout of apparently amazing sex. Frankie is defensive and done with dreaming. And their conflict (faith versus fear) drives the deeply satisfying first hour. Still, once Frankie bends at the end of Act 1, the play doesn’t seem to have anywhere else to go, despite the florid physicality of Tucci and the authority of Falco, who gives an entirely unforced performance as this scarred — yet funny — woman of the working class.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
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