Review: BONNIE & CLYDE at Pioneer Theatre Company is Next-Level

BONNIE & CLYDE plays through March 9, 2024.

By: Feb. 25, 2024
Review: BONNIE & CLYDE at Pioneer Theatre Company is Next-Level
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Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of BONNIE & CLYDE is a prime example of the next-level work that’s come from the theatre lately as the product of world-class performers and creative teams. There’s a reason why they bill themselves as “Utah’s premier professional theatre.”  If you haven’t given PTC a try, now is the time to see what you’ve been missing.

BONNIE & CLYDE (music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, book by Ivan Menchell) is a 2011 Broadway musical based on the lives of infamous Depression-era criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. It follows their relationship from their individual childhoods to their first meeting, when Bonnie is an innocent waitress and Clyde is already an escaped convict, to their violent deaths.

The cast gives astounding acting performances and through-the-roof vocals across the board. 

Leading the way are Alanna Saunders as Bonnie Parker and Michael William Nigro as Clyde Barrow, who both, funnily enough, were featured in NBC live musicals – she as Tiger Lily in PETER PAN LIVE! and he as Friedrich in THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!

Saunders has an extraordinary singing voice that is somehow both warm and crystal clear, washing over the room with emotion. Nigro finds a way to make a character that could be easily unlikeable instead incredibly charming and heartbreaking. 

Dan DeLuca as Buck Barrow and Gina Milo as Blanche Barrow are on the same level as the two leads both acting-wise and vocally, which makes for dynamite duets and scenes.

Standing toe-to-toe with them are the fantastic Ben Jacoby as Ted Hinton, April Armstrong as Emma Parker, and Christian Brailsford as the Preacher.

And right up there are local performers Daniel Simons as Henry Barrow and Mary Fanning Driggs as Cumie Barrow, as well as Penny Hodson as Young Bonnie (double cast with Elisabeth Wilkins) and Kiyan R. Wyness as Young Clyde (double cast with Daniel Michael Sorokine).

The lighting design by José Santiago is moody and melancholy, with haze and ceiling fans casting flickering, shadowy patterns across the stage.  The scenic design by Bryce Cutler is tall and shallow, forming a unique playing space that is reminiscent of both a metallic warehouse and a movie palace.  Additionally, the costumes by K.L. Alberts and hair/makeup by Tami Lee Thompson inject specificity and accuracy. 

Director/choreographer Gerry McIntyre leads with laudably bold directorial choices. While every single one may not 100% succeed depending on your point of view, as a whole they absolutely carry the audience away to another time and into the characters’ shoes. 

BONNIE & CLYDE plays through March 9, 2024. For tickets, call the box office at 801-581-6961 or visit www.pioneertheatre.org.

Photo Credit: BW Productions




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