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FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE presented by New Edgecliff Theatre through Oct. 3. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Saturday performance.
I’ll give you three reasons why FRANKIE AND JOHNNY is such an excellent production: Jared Doren, Sara Mackie and Dylan Shelton.
Mackie and Shelton are excellent as the titular duo. Their characters are believable and instantly relate-able. The two have a great chemistry together and handle the emotional flow of the show naturally. It’s easy to become emotionally-invested in their story.
For me, Frankie is Mackie’s best performance to date. The emotions and reactions that play across her face, and her body language, speaks volumes for the character. Frankie is likable and charmingly-awkward with an over-guarded heart.
Shelton is also very impressive. He has created this great persona for Johnny. A reformed bad boy with the heart of a poet, which he wears on his sleeve. There is this moment late in the show, where in his pleading with Frankie, and the emotion is just coming off him in waves.
Doren’s direction of Terrance McNally’s excellent script appears effortless. The blocking is natural and motivated. The emotional flow of the show is pitch perfect. The scene work is focused and balanced. The entire performance is completely genuine.
Frankie’s apartment looks great. Designed by Rachel Kuhl with Jared Earland serving as master carpenter (which included building, dis-assembling, moving and reassembling the set due to the venue change). Prop master Mary Gascho gave Frankie a believable world to live in. My only quibble about the set would be the width. It seemed a bit over-sized for a New York apartment that Frankie could afford as a waitress.
The radio show segments, courtesy of sound designer Jim Watson and performed by Joe Hornbaker, were very well done. Lighting designer Glen Goodwin handling of the “night” scenes worked really well. I also enjoyed the sunrise coming through the window.
Overall, a beautifully realized second-chance-at-love story.
My rating: 5 out of 5.
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