At the Broadway League’s 2019 Spring Road Conference, playwright Terrence McNally was honored with the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award as part of the Broadway League Awards, which recognize the contributions of those who have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.
Audra McDonald, who has won Tony Awards for starring in McNally’s Master Class and Ragtime, presented him with the Award:
“Like all actors, directors, producers and audiences who encounter his work, I have never stopped learning from Terrence. By watching him watch the world, I remain in awe of how he is able to take in his surroundings and craft them into timeless words and stories that touch our hearts. His ability to see value and wonder in everyone and everything is an attribute to which we can all aspire. Terrence once said, ‘Art is about the soul and the heart…it adds meaning to our lives. Show up. Listen. And let your heart expand.’ Terrence is nothing if not soul and heart, and he has added meaning to all of our lives. Terrence’s work will stand the test of time and continue to touch audiences for generations to come.”
In accepting the Award, Terrence McNally gave praise to McDonald and Michael Shannon, currently starring on Broadway in McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune:
“In my 80 years, I haven’t seen anything like what Audra and Michael are doing on stage at the Broadhurst eight shows a week—it is extraordinary. They are giving two of the greatest performances you are likely to see on stage.”
Terrence McNally is currently represented on Broadway with a new production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune starring Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald and Tony & Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, directed by Obie Award winner Arin Arbus; and produced by Hunter Arnold, Debbie Bisno and Tom Kirdahy.
Terrence McNally has had a remarkably far-ranging career, including at least one new work on and off-Broadway in each of the last six decades. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a recipient of the 2019 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. He has won four Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He has written a number of TV scripts, including “Andre’s Mother,” for which he won an Emmy Award. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards from the Dramatists Guild. In 1996 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote the libretto for the operas Great Scott and Dead Man Walking, both with music by Jake Heggie. Other plays includeMothers and Sons; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Lisbon Traviata; A Perfect Ganesh; The Visit; The Full Monty; Corpus Christi; Bad Habits; Next; The Ritz; Anastasia; It’s Only a Play; Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?; and The Stendhal Syndrome.
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune opens officially on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street) on Broadway. The strictly limited 16-week engagement concludes on Sunday, August 25, 2019.
In the new Broadway production, Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, two of the most acclaimed actors of their generation, will bring new life to the bruised dreamers of Terrence McNally’s timely and timeless romance. Director Arin Arbus, in her Broadway debut, directs this portrait of a lonely waitress and a short order cook whose first date turns into a one-night stand – and maybe more.
Originally produced more than 30 years ago Off-Broadway, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is one of McNally’s most acclaimed plays and will appear on Broadway as the playwright celebrates his 80th birthday. The play was a runaway hit from 1987 to 1989, returned to Broadway in a highly praised production in 2002 and was also turned into a feature film.
Tickets are on sale now, available at FrankieAndJohnnyBroadway.com or Telecharge.com (212.239.6200). A limited number of $40 general rush tickets (including $2 facility fee) will be available at the Broadhurst box office when it opens for that day’s performance(s). Limited to four tickets per person, tickets are subject to availability. Cash and major credit cards are accepted.
Playwright Terrence McNally will receive the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre during the 73rd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden on Sunday, June 9, 2019.