''Sopranos'' stars play musical chairs on Broadway. At ''Frankie and Johnny,'' it's arrividerci, Edie Falco, hello, Joe Pantoliano

By Gary Susman
Updated November 26, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Joe Pantoliano: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

Beauty and the Beast (live musical)

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  • Stage

Joey Pants is going pantsless. (This, two weeks after his ”Sopranos” character, Ralphie Cifaretto, went headless.) The New York Times reports that Joe Pantoliano and Rosie Perez are the new cast for the hit Broadway revival of Terrence McNally’s drama ”Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” On Jan. 1, they’ll make their Broadway debuts when they take over the roles — two working-class folks embarking on a tentative romance — from the current cast, Stanley Tucci and Pantoliano’s fellow ”Sopranos” star Edie Falco. Anyone who feels they didn’t get to see enough of Pantoliano’s anatomy when the whacked Ralphie was dismembered a couple episodes ago can go and see Pantoliano and Perez in all their glory, since the roles call for the actors to spend much of the play in the nude.

Pantoliano joins a whole mob of ”Sopranos” actors on Broadway this season. In addition to Edie ”Carmela” Falco, there’s her TV daughter, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, currently heading up the cast of ”Beauty and the Beast.” And last week, Dr. Melfi, a.k.a. Lorraine Bracco, took over Kathleen Turner’s part as Mrs. Robinson in ”The Graduate” — another role that calls for nudity. Other ”Sopranos” actors are also rumored to be on their way to Broadway, Variety reports. Guess all these stars of the crime-family show are giving new meaning to the term ”Broadway hit.”

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Beauty and the Beast (live musical)

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