Features NYC Features Published 9 October 2011

Meet Broadway’s Bonnie and Clyde

Frank Wildhorn musicalizes the wildest outlaws of the West.

E. Meredith Young
"Bonnie and Clyde"

Osnes and Jordan share a quiet moment as Bonnie & Clyde. Photo: Kate Campbell

Psst…you didn’t hear it from me, but I heard tell that Bonnie and Clyde, those lovelorn lawbreakers, were hiding out at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre!

Bonnie & Clyde met the press on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, where director Jeff Calhoun gave us a preview of his young, sexy take on the legend we thought we knew. Life dealt a rough hand to the dreamy waitress and the troubled Texas teen. As played by Laura Osnes (2011 Drama Desk nominee, Anything Goes) and Jeremy Jordan (West Side Story), the pair had electric chemistry that threatens to burn a hole in the stage. Calhoun called the musical a launching pad to stardom for its young leads, “from talented kids to a real Broadway powerhouse couple.”

They were joined by Melissa van der Schyff (Big River) and Claybourne Elder (Road Show) as Blanche and Buck Barrow. The company also includes Joe Hart (The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public) as Sherriff Schmid, and Louis Hobson (Next to Normal) as Ted Hinton, Rozi Baker, Leslie Becker, Mimi Bessette, Alison Cimmet, Daniel Cooney, Jon Fletcher, Kelsey Fowler, Victor Hernandez, Sean Jenness, Katie Klaus, Michael Lanning, Garrett Long, Matt Lutz, Marissa McGowan, Cassie Okenka, Justin Matthew Sargent, Ted Sutherland, Jack Tartaglia, and Tad Wilson.

Tackling an armory’s worth of American folk mythos is no easy task—especially when everyone’s got an opinion. How does one get an audience to focus on a love story when all they know is the violent version splayed across front pages and movie screens for years? That responsibility falls heavily on veteran Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn. The music is a heady mix of country, blues, rockabilly, and Wildhorn’s signature pop edge. If Tuesday’s meeting was any indication, it’s a bona fide tuner. There’s the slow simmer of “How “Bout a Dance?”—and just try not to hum the jangly “This World Will Remember Us.”

By Calhoun’s estimation, the American musical is growing up and plugging in to suit the tastes of a new generation of theatergoers. Bonnie & Clyde, he said, is ready to lead the way: “Any {story} that makes young people get into the theatre and feel like we’re speaking to them…we have our finger on the pulse of what is going on, and you can’t say that about every show.”

Will Bonnie & Clyde go off like gangbusters? Stay tuned—previews begin November 4th, 2011 for a December 1st opening.

Bonnie & Clyde, with direction by Jeff Calhoun, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, book by Ivan Menchell, and music supervision/orchestrations/arrangements by John McDaniel will pay at the Gerard Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 West 45th Street. Tickets available at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Learn more online at BonnieandClydeBroadway.com.


E. Meredith Young

E. Meredith Young is a freelance editor and writer based in New York City. She is an alumna of James Madison University, where she began an unabashedly nerdy love affair with dramaturgy, culminating in a Kennedy Center ACTF nomination for her work on Lorca's Blood Wedding. In her native Virginia, her work has been featured in VEER Magazine, the Hampton Roads Shakespeare Festival, and at the state's International Thespian Society Festival, sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association.



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