Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald star in the revival of...

Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald star in the revival of Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune." Credit: Deen van Meer

"Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune," the first play of the 2019-20 Broadway season, is closing on July 28, a month ahead of schedule.

The Terrence McNally drama about two lonely souls whose one-night stand might be the start of something more, produced to honor the playwright's 80th birthday, opened to mostly strong reviews on May 30. But recently the box office was weak, with the show posting the lowest grosses on Broadway last week, earning only 20 percent of its potential. Starring six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, the play was the first on Broadway to employ an intimacy coach (Claire Warden), who guided the actors through explicit scenes including some in which both appeared nude.

"What Audra and Michael do on stage eight shows a week in this timely and relevant story of human connection is nothing short of remarkable," said the producers in a statement.

The show was originally slated to close on Aug. 25. When it ends its run at the Broadhurst Theatre, it will have played 26 previews and 70 regular performances.

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