The hit Broadway staging of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune will continue beyond its current limited-run engagement, the producers announced Nov. 23, with Rosie Perez and Joe Pantoliano taking over roles created in this revival by Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci.
The newcomers begin Jan. 1, 2003, at the Belasco, where the production made back its investment in four months. Joe Mantello directs. This is the first Broadway staging for the tender and tough romance by Terrence McNally. The play ran Off-Broadway with Kathy Bates and Kenneth Welsh in the 1980s and was later made into a film with Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. Falco and Tucci play their last show Dec. 29.
Perez (who'll play bruised Frankie) is the Brooklyn film actress known for "Do the Right Thing" and "White Man Can't Jump." Pantoliano is best known for playing the recently-whacked mobster Ralphie on TV's "The Sopranos." The lovers in the McNally play are meant to be unglamorous working class folks, and Perez and Pantoliano seem to fit the bill. This will mark the Broadway debut for both performers.
Pantoliano's "Sopranos" pals Falco, Lorraine Bracco (The Graduate), Jamie Lynn Sigler (Beauty and the Beast) and Saundra Santiago (who will be in Nine come spring 2003) are all making noise on Broadway this season.
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune opened Aug. 8 and has recouped its $1.5 million capitalization. For ticket information, call Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200.