Review Roundup: Aurora Theatre's CLYDE 'N BONNIE


Nearly 10 years of work culminated when Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale made its premiere in suburban Atlanta to a sold-out audience at Aurora Theatre on March 15, 2012. Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale, created by Broadway stars Hunter Foster and Rick Crom, is directed by legendary Broadway veteran and Emmy™ Award-winning director Lonny Price. With choreography by Josh Rhodes and musical direction by local award-winner Ann-Carol Pence, the show stars the delightful J.C. Long and Laura Floyd in the title roles.

In it, America's most romantic gangsters outwit and outrun a relentless J. Edgar Hoover to the delight of the poor and downtrodden, as their relationship changes from "strictly business" to passionate romance. Funny, tuneful and historically dubious, Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale is a good ol' musical about the bad ol' days.

Wendell Brock, Access AtlantaJ.C. Long and Laura Floyd are quite good in the leads. Both are strong singers. But the play doesn't depict them as insatiable lovers. That's the domain of Bryant Smith and Caitlin Smith, who play Buck and Blanche Barrow to great comic effect. Blanche's reverse conversion from straight-shooter to gunslinger is a hoot.

Andrew Alexander, CL Atlanta: The result is an old-fashioned, energetic, crowd-pleasing musical in the mold of "Guys and Dolls," "The King and I" or "The Music Man." Those who love the old stuff will leave happy, but the show is unlikely to win any new converts to musical theater, and some may even feel that the formula has been followed too rigidly.

Meghan Kotowski, Gwinnett Daily Post: The gang runs from the law day and night from state to state, even landing themselves in Mexico for a short time, where they learn about "Loco Pero Vivo," a song men learn about love when south of the border. Soon, they become more famous than movie stars and America is cheering them on, which gets J. Edgar Hoover (Bart Hansard) on their trail. Throughout the musical, stories are told, relationships are made and there is more gun fire than at a shooting range, but it all comes together through the script and lyrics.

Kenny Norton, ATF: While there's much that many people will love in the musical, a small set of flaws in the script appear. The depiction of Hoover as a cross dresser becomes a little too much and a little less of it might make the Chicago-like finale even more hilarious. Plus, the short second act feels incomplete and a bit anti-climatic.


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