Tony, Grammy & Emmy Winner
Two-Time Academy Award Nominee
To Star in Four-Time Tony Award Winner
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE
(January 23, 2019 -- New York, NY) – In celebration of four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally’s 80th birthday, producers Hunter Arnold, Debbie Bisno and Tom Kirdahy announce a new Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, directed by Obie Award winner Arin Arbus.
The strictly limited 16-week Broadway engagement will begin previews in May 2019 at a Shubert theater to be announced.
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.
The creative team will include Riccardo Hernandez (Sets), Emily Rebholz (Costumes), Natasha Katz (Lighting), Nevin Steinberg (Sound), J. Jared Janas (Hair, Wig and Makeup), Laurie Goldfeder (Production Stage Manager) and 101 Productions, Ltd. (General Manager).
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Audra McDonald (“there’s nothing the superhuman Ms. McDonald can’t do onstage” – Hollywood Reporter) last appeared on Broadway in the musicals Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill—the role that also served as the vehicle for her record-breaking sixth Tony Award and 2017 debut on London’s West End (2018 Olivier Award nomination). Recently seen in the Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water, Michael Shannon (“a remarkable actor of force and strength” – Chicago Tribune) returns to Broadway after his Tony-nominated performance opposite Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne in A Long Day’s Journey into Night.
Four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (“one of the greatest contemporary playwrights” – New York Observer) is currently represented on Broadway by his book for the hit musical Anastasia. And director Arin Arbus (“exemplary… a star in the making” – The New York Times) will make her Broadway debut with this production. For a decade, she served as the Associate Artistic Director of Theater for a New Audience, where she most recently staged The Winter’s Tale to great acclaim.
Originally produced more than 30 years ago Off-Broadway, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is one of McNally’s most acclaimed plays and will appear on Broadway as the playwright celebrates his 80th birthday. The play was a runaway hit from 1987 to 1989, returned to Broadway in an acclaimed production in 2002 and was also turned into a feature film.
Performance schedule, on-sale and ticket information will be forthcoming.
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AUDRA McDONALD is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts—America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts— from President Barack Obama. In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill—the role that also served as the vehicle for her 2017 debut on London’s West End (2018 Olivier Award nomination)—she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination), and Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The Juilliard-trained soprano’s opera credits include La voix humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera. On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s “Private Practice.” She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center” and has received nominations for “Wit,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” Having first appeared as Liz Lawrence on CBS’s “The Good Wife,” she can now be seen on CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight,” which launches its third season in 2019. On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and the movie-musical Hello Again. McDonald has released five solo albums on the Nonesuch label and recently released a new recording, Sing Happy, with the New York Philharmonic on Decca Gold. She also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. Of all her many roles, her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
Two-time Academy Award nominee MICHAEL SHANNON is making his mark working with many of the industry's most honored talents and treading the boards in the world's most respected theatres. Recently, Shannon starred in the Academy Award-winning Shape of Water. He has appeared opposite Andrew Garfield in 99 Homes, and co-starred with Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in Freeheld. Shannon has also starred in The Night Before opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Lizzy Caplan, and Jeff Nichol’s Midnight Special opposite Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton and Sam Shepard. Shannon’s previous collaborations with Nichols include Take Shelter, for which he received a 2011 Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor; as well as the films Mud and Shotgun Stories. Shannon has also starred in Siofra Campbell’s The Price opposite Noomi Rapace, Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire, Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon, Matthew M. Ross’ Frank and Lola opposite Imogen Poots, and Untitled Joshua Marston Project, co-starring opposite Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates and Danny Glover. Most notably, Shannon made his mark in an Oscar-nominated supporting role in Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. With over forty roles in film, Shannon's credits include John McNaughton's The Harvest, Jake Paltrow’s The Young Ones, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Ariel Vromen's The Iceman, David Koepp's Premium Rush, Liza Johnson's Return, Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done and Bad Lieutenant, Sydney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, William Friedkin's Bug, Curtis Hanson's Lucky You, Michael Bay's Bad Boys II, Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, David McNally's Kangaroo Jack, Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, John Waters' Cecil B. DeMented, Noah Buschel's The Missing Person and Shana Feste's The Greatest. For all his roles on screen, Shannon maintains a connection to theatre. In 2012, Shannon appeared opposite Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, and Kate Arrington in Grace at the Cort Theatre, for which he was nominated for a 2013 Distinguished Performance Drama League Award. In 2010, he led Craig Wright's Off-Broadway play, Mistakes Were Made, at the Barrow Street Theater, which earned him an Outstanding Lead Actor Lortel Award nomination, an Outstanding Actor in a Play Drama Desk Award nomination, an Outstanding Solo Performance Outer Critics Award nomination, and a Distinguished Performance Drama League Award nomination. Shannon also starred in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, earning a Tony Award nomination. Additional theatre credits include Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep Theatre), Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre), Lady (Rattlestick Theatre), The Metal Children (Vineyard Theatre), The Little Flower of East Orange (Public Theatre), The Pillowman and Man From Nebraska (Steppenwolf Theatre), Bug (Barrow Street Theatre, Red Orchid Theatre and Gate Theatre), Mr. Kolpert and The Killer (Red Orchid Theatre), Killer Joe (SoHo Playhouse, Next Lab Theatre and Vaudeville Theatre), The Idiot (Lookingglass Theatre) and Woyzeck (Gate Theatre). On television, Shannon’s credits include Martin Scorsese's HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire,” co-starring Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald.
Director ARIN ARBUS served as the Associate Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience for a decade, where she directed The Winter’s Tale, The Skin of Our Teeth (Obie Award), repertory productions of Strindberg’s The Father and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, as well as King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Measure for Measure and Othello. She staged Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera and La Traviata at Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. She was a Drama League Directing Fellow, a Princess Grace Award Recipient, a member of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, a Samuel H. Scripps Award Recipient. In association with Rehabilitation Through the Arts, Arbus led an all-male theatre company of inmates for several years at Woodbourne Correctional Facility—a medium security prison in upstate New York. Last summer she directed an Arabic adaptation of The Tempest, performed by refugees in a Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece for The Campfire Project.
TERRENCE McNALLY has had a remarkably far-ranging career spanning six decades. He is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won four Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He has written a number of TV scripts, including “Andre’s Mother,” for which he won an Emmy Award. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards. In 1996 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote the book for the Tony-nominated musical The Visit, which opened on Broadway in the spring of 2015 with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb. He wrote the libretto for the operas Great Scott and Dead Man Walking, both with music by Jake Heggie. He recently garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Great Scott. He is the writer of the book for the musical Anastasia, which is currently playing on Broadway. Other plays include Tony-nominated Best Play Mothers and Sons; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Lisbon Traviata; A Perfect Ganesh; Corpus Christi; Bad Habits; Next; The Ritz; It’s Only a Play; Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?; and The Stendhal Syndrome.
HUNTER ARNOLD. Broadway: Hadestown, Pretty Woman: The Musical, Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen (Tony Award), Kinky Boots (Tony Award and Olivier Award), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Head Over Heels, Once On This Island (Tony Award), M. Butterfly, Disaster!, Allegiance, Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony Nomination), The Visit (Tony Nomination), It’s Only a Play, Mothers and Sons (Tony Nomination), The Bridges of Madison County, Macbeth, Godspell, Chinglish. London: The Inheritance, The Jungle, Hadestown, Tina: The Musical, Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? with Damian Lewis. Off-Broadway: Cruel Intentions and Daddy Long Legs. Upcoming projects include Moulin Rouge, Tina: The Musical, and more. Hunter also owns a film production company, recent film-based projects include Something Like Summer, Hello Again, The Next Four Years and others. Upcoming projects include A Little More Alive, Single for the First Time and Bastard Jones. He is the CEO of ARTech Holdings, a company dedicated to bringing best in class technologies to the live arts and one of the founders of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund, an investment vehicle dedicated to maximizing shareowner returns in the Broadway space. Hunter earned his bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Business from DePaul University and his Master’s in Business Administration from TRIUM, a joint program representing NYU Stern School of Business, H.E.C. Paris and the London School of Economics. He is a frequent lecturer and guest professor on entertainment trends and economics, Commercial Theater and working in the arts.
DEBBIE BISNO is the Resident Producer at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ (Emily Mann, Artistic Director and Resident Playwright; Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director) Broadway highlights: Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons; Craig Wright’s Grace (starring Michael Shannon, Paul Rudd, Kate Arrington, Ed Asner); Annie; War Horse; Merchant of Venice; HAIR. West End: Passion Play; Merrily We Roll Along. Off-Broadway highlights: U.S. premiere of Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly starring Carey Mulligan, dir. by David Leveaux in association with Atlantic Theatre Co.; and A Red Orchid Theatre’s Chicago production of The Opponent at 59E59. Bisno was Co-Founder & Producing Director of Roadworks Productions, a Chicago-based ensemble—launching over 20 Midwest Premieres, championing the work of writers Kenneth Lonergan, Charles Mee, Howard Korder, Patrick Marber, Eric Bogosian, Mike Leigh, Phyllis Nagy, Lanford Wilson and more. She serves on the Board of FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) and is on the Inkwell Council of The Playwrights Realm.
TOM KIRDAHY is currently producing Anastasia and the upcoming production of Hadestown on Broadway. In 2018 he produced The Jungle and The Inheritance in the West End. In 2017, Kirdahy produced Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End. He was the lead producer of the 2015 Broadway hit It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and the Tony Award nominated Kander and Ebb musical The Visit starring Chita Rivera. Off-Broadway he produced the NY Times Critic’s Pick White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Additional Tony nominations: Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime and Master Class. He is a founding director of Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc. As an attorney, Kirdahy spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Broadway League Government Relations Committee. Upcoming Projects: The White Chip and Hood.