372nd out of 387 books — 299 voters
Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune
The setting is a walk-up apartment on Manhattan's West Side where, as the curtain rises, Frankie (a waitress) and Johnny (a short-order cook who works in the same restaurant) are discovered in bed. It is their first encounter, after having met several weeks ago on the job, and Frankie is hopeful that Johnny will now put on his clothes and depart, so she can return to her u...more
Paperback, 71 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Dramatist's Play Service
(first published 1989)
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All of the action in this piece takes place in Frankie's apartment. The play opens with the couple having sex. It is clear from the beginning that they know each other though not very well. The audience soon learns that they met at the diner where both work. Frankie is a waitress while Johnny is the cook. Johnny is idealistic, looking for true love, and has set his sights on Frankie. Frankie is jaded/grouchy, suspicious and will have none of Johnny's romantic advances. This creates 71 pages of b...more
I'd only read bits and pieces of this in the past, for scene work and monologues, etc (and saw the movie, which everybody knows is a total re-working... although I really liked it), and just never got around to reading the whole show --- but SO glad I did. I absolutely love this play and these characters. I actually cried -more than once- reading it. I have to see this live someday (or even better - perform it!) - sorry I missed Kathy Bates back in the day... 5 stars
The play itself is at times adorable, romantic, and utterly terrifying. At times Johnny's actions seem desperate and obsessive, which tended to set off warning bells as I was reading. However, it is a great text for scenework, because there is so much unexpected depth between these two strangers.
I'll be honest. I didn't want to read this. I was assigned it for a theater class. And it was okay. Not good, not bad, just okay, and somewhat boring. Granted, I usually find reading a play disappointing (although there are some notable exceptions, The Crucible comes to mind). It's completely possible that had I seen this on stage, I would have found it enchanting. But I didn't, so I don't.