Audra McDonald never seems to disappoint, and Frankie & Johnny in the CLAIR de LUNE is no exception. She is a powerhouse that delivers her performance well.
The opening of the show is intentionally awkward, and in that, it is quite successful. That’s about it though. Immediately, the show delves into a tone-deaf situation for today’s culture.
One purpose of Art is to push boundaries, another is to make us uncomfortable. That it does, too. Frankie & Johnny becomes the tale, not of love, but of coercion and hostage-taking without any of the action that generally entails.
In essence, Johnny wheedles his way into Frankie’s apartment for a hookup. What Frankie (Audra) assumes is a one-night stand, Johnny (Michael Shannon) desires to turn into a long-term relationship.
He refuses to leave when asked to and when told to. He brushes off her agency and the notion of consent. A portrayal of toxic masculinity at its worst, this has no place on Broadway.