Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
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The play focuses on two lonely, middle-aged people whose first date ends with their tumbling into bed. Johnny is certain he has found his soul mate in Frankie. She, on the other hand, is far more cautious and disinclined to jump to conclusions. As the night unfolds, they slowly begin to reveal themselves to each other as they take tentative steps towards the possible start of a new relationship. The reference to "Clair de lune" in the title refers to a piece of music by Debussy, the third movement of the Suite bergamasque, which is a key plot element.
Production and critical reception
The play, directed by Paul Benedict, opened on June 2, 1987 at Stage II of the off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club, where it ran for two weeks. Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham were the original cast.
On December 4, it transferred to the Westside Theatre, where it remained for fifteen months.
After fifteen previews, the first Broadway production, directed by Joe Mantello, opened on August 8, 2002 at the Belasco Theatre, where it ran for 243 performances. Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci, who was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in Play, were replaced by Rosie Perez and Joe Pantoliano later in the run. The production, which was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Play[when?], drew a great deal of press coverage for the performers' extended period of nudity in the first act.
- Rich, Frank (October 28, 1987). "FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE - Review - Theater". The New York Times (theater.nytimes.com).