Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
Press Release

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents “Frankie and Johnny” Sept. 20 – Oct. 15

September 20 – October 15, 2017 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre

By - Aug 21st, 2017 09:51 am
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents "Frankie and Johnny" Sept. 20 - Oct. 15

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents “Frankie and Johnny” Sept. 20 – Oct. 15

Milwaukee, WI. … Could you fall in love with a stranger after one night together? In FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, running September 20 – October 15, 2017, a waitress and short-order cook spend the evening wondering just that – unsure whether they want the answer to be yes or no. Terrence McNally’s bittersweet comic romance, directed by Mary MacDonald Kerr, will be performed at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre in the Historic Third Ward.

Middle-aged restaurant coworkers Frankie and Johnny have been on one date, and they’ve slept together, and that’s it – as far as Frankie is concerned. Johnny, on the other hand, has other ideas. He thinks they’re already in love. As the night goes on, both of them reveal more of their inner selves to each other by the light of the moon, and slowly grow to question whether the path of their lives might be more changeable than they believe.

To bring these unique characters to life, MCT has enlisted actors Todd Denning and Marcella Kearns. Denning will make his MCT debut as Johnny, a compulsive talker and romantic who isn’t shy about expressing his feelings on life, love and anything else that pops into his head. Frankie, a guarded woman hiding behind wisecracks and a surface-level frankness, is played by Kearns, returning to the MCT stage after appearing in BOEING BOEING, JEEVES IN BLOOM, and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS. Kearns also serves as MCT’s associate artistic director, and directed VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE in the 2016-17 season.

Also returning to MCT for FRANKIE AND JOHNNY is director Mary MacDonald Kerr. Kerr made her directing debut here with CRIMES OF THE HEART in 2011; more recently, she directed Renaissance Theaterworks’ LUNA GALE in the Studio Theatre. As an actor, she has performed in more than 20 shows with MCT, from BEAST ON THE MOON in 1995 to THE FEW earlier in 2017.

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY author Terrence McNally is a critically acclaimed playwright, screenwriter and librettist. He has received the Tony Award for Best Play for his hits LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! and MASTER CLASS, as well as the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for RAGTIME and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. McNally is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his award-winning plays and musicals, he also written two operas, multiple screenplays, teleplays, and a memoir.

MCT has previously performed McNally’s MASTER CLASS (in 1999 and 2014) and A PERFECT GANESH (1994-95 season), but the first McNally work produced by the company was in fact FRANKIE AND JOHNNY itself. In the 1989-90 season, before MCT was in residence at the Broadway Theatre Center, founding artistic director Montgomery Davis directed the play at the Milwaukee Rep’s Steimke Theatre, featuring Carol Mennie and Milwaukee native Anthony Crivello.

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE performances will take place September 20 to October 15, 2017 (Opening Night: Friday, September 22), in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. (noon-5:00 p.m. summer hours through August 5) at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE is co-sponsored by Elizabeth Levins & Herbert Zien and George & Angela Jacobi.

[ CAST ]

Frankie …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Marcella Kearns

Johnny……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Todd Denning

[ PRODUCTION STAFF ]

Director………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Mary MacDonald Kerr

Stage Manager…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Judy Martel

Scenic Designer…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Brandon Kirkham

Costume Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Amy Horst

Lighting Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Holly Blomquist

Co-Properties Masters…………………………………………………………………………………………. Meghan Savagian & Maddy Yee

Sound Designer………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Kristian Wiborg

Dialect Coach……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Raeleen McMillion

[ PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

September 20 – October 15, 2017
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
20

7:30 p.m. PWYC

21

7:30 p.m. P

22

8:00 p.m. O

23           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

24

2:00 p.m.

27         1:00 p.m.*

7:30 p.m. V

28

7:30 p.m. T

29

8:00 p.m.

30          4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

Oct 1

2:00 p.m.

4
1:00 p.m.*
5           

7:30 p.m. T

6

8:00 p.m. C

7             4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

8

2:00 p.m.

11

7:30 p.m.

12

7:30 p.m. T

13

8:00 p.m.

14           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

15

2:00 p.m.

PWYC = Pay-What-You-Can preview; P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints;

*= Talk Theatre; C = Community Building Night (half-price tickets)

[ SPECIAL EVENTS ]

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: : Join us for an insightful pre-show presentation on topics relating to FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, led by Dave Luhrssen, arts and entertainment editor for the Shepherd Express. This free presentation is on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will lead lively, informative chats with production manager/company manager Brandy Kline at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, September 27th and director Mary MacDonald Kerr at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, October 4th in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

–Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussions with the artists will take place following performances on Thursday, September 28, Thursday October 5, and Thursday, October 12.

Community Building Night: As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure MCT productions are accessible to as many members of the Milwaukee community as possible, we’re hosting half-price Community Building Nights during every production in the 2017-2018 season. FRANKIE AND JOHNNY’s Community Building Night is set for 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 6th.

[ BIOGRAPHIES ]

TODD DENNING – Johnny

Todd is making his debut at MCT with FRANKIE AND JOHNNY. Recent appearances in Milwaukee include roles in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING with Optimist Theatre, THE OTHER PLACE at Next Act Theatre and MACBETH with Umbrella Group. Todd has been an adjunct faculty member at Marquette University since 2008. Other regional credits include Utah Shakespeare, South Coast Repertory, Illinois Shakespeare, Tennessee Repertory, Georgia Shakespeare, Willamette Rep, PCPA Theaterfest, Milwaukee Shakespeare, In Tandem and First Stage.

MARCELLA KEARNS – Frankie

Marcy returns to MCT after appearing in BOEING BOEING, JEEVES IN BLOOM, and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS. Selected Midwest credits include productions with Forward Theater Company, Renaissance Theaterworks, First Stage, In Tandem Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater; outside the region, she has worked with Chamber Repertory Theatre, Texas Repertory Theatre, and Studio Arena. She also serves as an instructor at Carthage College and First Stage and as MCT’s Associate Artistic Director. Most recently, she directed MOCKINGBIRD at First Stage. Training: MFA, University of South Carolina; Fulbright Fellowship, Vienna, Austria.

MARY MACDONALD KERR – Director

Mary is thrilled to be directing at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre again. She previously directed CRIMES OF THE HEART for MCT. Other directing credits include LUNA GALE at Renaissance Theaterworks, THE GLASS MENAGERIE at In Tandem and GOING TO ST. IVES at Next Act Theatre, among others. Mary is also an actor, most recently at MCT in THE FEW last season. Other Chamber shows include THE DETECTIVE’S WIFE, THE SWEETEST SWING IN BASEBALL, JOE EGG, THREE DAYS OF RAIN, VOICE OF THE TURTLE and BEAST ON THE MOON. Mary has also acted in productions at Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Rep, First Stage, Milwaukee Shakespeare and Next Act.

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Finn, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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