Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon to star in romantic play on Broadway
How’s this for star power?
EW can confirm that Audra McDonald, the only person to win all four Tony acting categories, will star opposite Oscar and Tony nominee Michael Shannon in a new Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune this summer, for a strictly limited 16-week engagement. An intimate two-hander, the romantic play first opened Off Broadway in 1987, with Kathy Bates originating the role of Frankie, and was adapted into an acclaimed 1991 film starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Frankie and Johnny centers on a lonely waitress (McDonald) and a short-order cook (Shannon) whose first date turns into a one-night stand — and maybe more. The play follows them over the course of the night as they reveal themselves to one another, finding their way around the possibility of a new relationship. The new production will be directed by Arin Arbus, making her Broadway debut.
McDonald holds the record for acting Tony Awards (excluding honorary prizes), with six; most recently, she won Best Actress in a Play for her turn as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Frankie and Johnny marks her first Broadway role in three years, having most recently starred in the 2016 Shuffle Along musical. She currently stars on CBS All Access’ The Good Fight.
Shannon, a two-time Oscar nominee (for Revolutionary Road and Nocturnal Animals), broke out with theater audiences for his turn in the 2014 production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, receiving his first Tony nomination. He most recently starred in the AMC limited series The Little Drummer Girl.
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune will begin previews in May at a theater to be announced.