The 1987 two-hander was originally a hit Off-Broadway with Kathy Bates and Kenneth Walsh and had its West End premiere with Julie Walters and Brian Cox at the Comedy Theatre in 1989. In 1991, it was filmed, as simply Frankie and Johnny, with the decidedly photogenic Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino in the title roles of a weary waitress and an ex-con cook who fall reluctantly in love between short orders at the New York diner where they both work. The stage play at last received its Broadway debut in 2002 in an extended run that initially starred Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci. A 2005 London revival, with John Sharian and Suzan Sylvester, at the now-defunct Sound Theatre also won critical acclaim.
Hollywood star Kelly McGillis, best remembered from films including Top Gun and Witness, is signed up to play Frankie in the new Middle Ground Theatre production, which is aiming for a UK tour next spring, helmed by artistic director Michael Lunney. No word yet on who her Johnny may be.