Music and Sound Design of “Frankie and Johnny”

The sound design requirements for a show like Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune are minimal. Because Frankie and Johnny are listening to the radio, the script calls for specific musical selections to be played throughout the show. I thought it would be fun to extend the “radio” concept into intermission and keep the music flowing, with additional music and intermittent radio announcements that are not called for in the script itself.


Whenever I work on sound for a show, people ask me where they can get the music that I’ve used in the show and during intermission. I would like to think that this is about my meticulous taste and musical skills, but in reality I think I’m just benefiting from a captive audience that likes the arts. So, in the spirit of sharing, here are some great examples of music that is called for in the script. These links go to, a great resource for classical music MP3s.

Act I Playlist Example

Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
Scriabin: Symphony No. 2
Clair de Lune from Suite bergamasque

Intermission Playlist Example

Edvard Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: Morning Mood
Charles-François Gounod, Funeral March of a Marionette
Edvard Grieg, In The Hall Of The Mountain King from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1

Act II Playlist Example

Richard Wagner, Ride Of The Valkyries from Die Walkure
Cesar Frank, Sonata in A Major
Dmitry Shostakovich, String Qiartet #2

J.S. Epperson is the sound designer for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. He has previously created sound for Arts West, Redwood Theatre and Theatre 9/12. You can read a clever paragraph or two about Epperson on the Cast and Crew page or you can visit his website.