Photo Flash: BONNIE & CLYDE Opens at the Asolo Rep
Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of Bonnie & Clyde opened on November 19. The opening night festivities included vintage cars on the patio courtesy of Vintage Motors of Sarasota.
Bonnie and Clyde is a thrilling new musical with book by Ivan Menchell (The Cemetery Club, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang); music by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel); lyrics by Tony Award-winner Don Black (Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance); Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by John McDaniel; and direction and musical staging by Tony Award- winner Jeff Calhoun (Deaf West's Big River and Pippin, Grease!).
Bonnie Parker is played by Laura Osnes, who originated the role in the World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse last fall, and won a San Diego Theater Critics Circle Award for her performance. She recently starred as Nellie Forbush in Lincoln Center's Broadway revival of South Pacific and made her Broadway debut as Sandy in Grease!, having won the role on NBC's reality competition "Grease: You're The One That I Want." Her partner in crime is Jeremy Jordan, who takes on the role of Clyde Barrow following his Broadway performances in the revival of West Side Story (Tony) and Rock of Ages.
Osnes and Jordan are joined by Melissa Van Der Schyff (Deaf West's Big River) as Blanche Barrow, Mimi Bessette (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Emma Parker, Kevin Massey as Ted Hinton, Claybourne Elder as Buck Barrow, Wayne Duvall as the Sheriff, Leslie Becker as Cumie Barrow/Governor Ferguson, Zach Rand (Les Misérables and Mary Poppins) as Young Clyde, Kelsey Fowler (Mary Poppins) as Young Bonnie. Ensemble members include Daniel Cooney, FSU/Asolo Conservatory MFA student Dane Dandridge, Victor Hernandez, Laura Hodos, Heather Kopp, Michael Lanning, Kevin Rose, Casey Shea and Tim Shew; and local performer Holly Rizzo as the Young Bonnie understudy.
In addition to Menchell, Wildhorn, Black, McDaniel and Calhoun, the creative team includes Tobin Ost, Scenic and Costume Designer; Michael Gilliam, Lighting Designer; Kevin Kennedy, Sound Designer; Aaron Rhyne, Projection Designer; Carol Doran, Wig and Hair Designer; Stephen Landau, Music Director/Keyboards; Coy Middlebrook, Associate Director, Patricia Delorey, Vocal Coach; Steve Rankin, Fight Director; Paul J. Smith*, Production Stage Manager; Kelly Borgia*, Stage Manager; and Jeff Tanski, Associate Music Director. (Additional credits/bios to be included in the full media kit.)
According to director, Jeff Calhoun, "this may be the most true-to-life account of their story to date. Ivan's book is based on the factual accounts of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, their lives and circumstances, and their own words. Frank has written songs with beautiful melodies reminiscent of the times but with a current appeal. Don's lyrics speak to the heart of the piece and the emotion. I have tried to take all that and create a show that's as truthful as it is entertaining."
The show did very well in its World Premiere at La Jolla, in 2009. According to the production team, coming to Asolo Rep is an important step in taking the show to the next level. Book writer Ivan Menchell explained, "We learned a great deal from the La Jolla production. That show was an intimate look at a fractured love story. But audiences and critics wanted to know more about Bonnie & Clyde. What made them who they were? We also needed a more dynamic point of view. Working with Michael Donald Edwards, we discovered that the next step was to involve adding a new layer to the story-social context-to help us better understand why these two kids ended up on the path they did. And so a new point of view (and song) were born: "Made in America." Bonnie & Clyde were the end products of a uniquely American decade defined by poverty, greed, unemployment, violence and desperation. Since La Jolla, the piece has grown and the story developed to accommodate that point of view. We've added six new songs, the Young Bonnie & Clyde characters who enrich the story, new artists are involved, and the staging has fresh elements. It's all very exciting!"
"The story of Bonnie & Clyde is uniquely American. What happened with these two kids and the extent to which the public and politicians turned them into heroes and outlaws, that wasn't just about them. Their lives and the legend were influenced by the economics and political climate of the times. They were also young, in love and driven by an intense desire to achieve fame and fortune," added Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "This is a timely and fascinating story being told to us through the eyes and talents of a brilliant creative team and performed by a gifted group of artists. Asolo Rep, our audiences and the Sarasota community are fortunate to be involved with this project."
Bonnie & Clyde had its World Premiere in 2009 at The La Jolla Playhouse in California. The musical is based on the lives of Depression-era outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, whose notorious exploits captured the country's imagination. Everybody had a dream. They had a plan. This seductive and cinematic new musical examines how a troubled Texas teen and a love-sick waitress became America's most infamous couple, with a thrilling new score that combines rockabilly, blues and gospel music.
Tickets ($17-$65) on sale now at the box office, by calling 941-351-8000, 800-361- 8388 or online at www.AsoloRep.org.
Photo Credit: Frank Autra (2010)