Lamar University Press Logo

Frankie and Johnny – a beautiful, emotionally raw story

Jody Reho (left) plays Johnny and Heather Rushing plays Frankie in "Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune" through Nov. 5.
Jody Reho (left) plays Johnny and Heather Rushing plays Frankie in "Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune" through Nov. 5.

A waitress and a cook working at a restaurant spend time on a date, then end the night in the waitress’ house. What follows is an evening of conversations, with topics changing left and right, with wandering thoughts on whether or not the relationship will work.

Beaumont Community Players presents “Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune” Nov. 3-5. The story takes place in the 1980s. Waitress Frankie and cook Johnny spend the evening together in Frankie’s apartment. Frankie (Heather Rushing) feels torn on if she wants to make the relationship work, while Johnny (Jody Reho) is more than willing to make it happen and wants nothing more than to be with her.

They dance around the idea of forming a relationship, making sandwiches and listening to the radio, which prompts Johnny to call into the radio station and request a tune.

As the radio plays the classical melody of “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy, the two look at each other in admiration. The piece starts off soft and slow, the delicate keys of the piano playing like a graceful dance. The song symbolizes the duo’s relationship as it starts off quiet and soft, “testing the waters” of a new relationship, slowly growing more complex and louder overtime as their love for each other grows over the span of the night.

Rushing portrays Frankie as woman who knows what she wants but is unsure of herself when it comes to love. The audience can understand her feelings of worry in not wanting to jump into something new and exciting for fear of losing it, which Rushing enhances.

Jody Reho (left) plays Johnny and Heather Rushing plays Frankie in "Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune" through Nov. 5.

 "Frankie and Johnny In The Clair De Lune" continues Nov. 3-5.

Reho’s Johnny is a man who knows what he wants and is passionate about his new lover. The audience understands his desires to find someone before it’s too late. He feels like he has to hurry to find someone as he is getting older, the audience sympathizes with Johnny as he wants to make the most of his life by sharing it with someone special, which Reho portrays wonderfully.

The set, designed by John Manfredi, depicts a typical apartment in New York with a small interior which looks slightly cramped, but feels like home. The space is well lived in, with clothes strewn aimlessly on the floor — everything feels natural. The set is immersive as if we are looking through a window into Frankie and Johnny’s lives.

Director Manfredi takes playwright Terrence McNally’s work and ties everything together fantastically, bringing the story to life where we feel as if we are watching real people from decades ago forming real connections through real conversations. It is an authentic representation of being in a new relationship with all of its ups and downs.

Frankie and Johnny In the Clair De Lune continues through Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. BCP is located at 4155 Laurel Ave, 77707.

The play is rated R for language and adult situations.

For more information, visit

Category: Opinion