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Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan in "Bonnie & Clyde" at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
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Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan in "Bonnie & Clyde" at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

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Kathleen Raitt, Jerry Frankel, Jeffrey Richards
et al.
Present:

Bonnie & Clyde
(Bonnie & Clyde Website)

Book by Ivan Menchell
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Frank Wildhorn

Direction & Choreography: Jeff Calhoun

Starring:
Laura Osnes, Jeremy Jordan
Melissa Van Der Schyff, Claybourne Elder
Joe Hart, Louis Hobson

And an Ensemble of Actors/Singers/Dancers

At
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
NY, NY
212.239.6200

Scenic & Costume Design: Tobin Ost
Lighting Design: Michael Gilliam
Sound Design: John Shivers
Projection Design: Aaron Rhyne
Casting: Telsey + Company
Hair & Wig Design: Charles LaPointe
Makeup Design: Ashley Ryan
Fight Director: Steve Rankin
Technical Supervisor: Neil A. Mazzella
Hudson Theatrical Associates
Production Stage Manager: Paul J. Smith
Assoc. Director: Coy Middlebrook
Press Agent/Marketing: Jeffrey Richards Assoc.,
Irene Gandy/Alana Karpoff
Music Director: Jason Howland
Music Contractor: David Lai
General Management: Bespoke Theatricals
Advertising: Serino/Coyne
Music Supervision/Arrangements/Orchestrations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 9, 2011


Not every musical has to be brassy and brash or rhapsodic and transporting. Bonnie & Clyde, the new Broadway musical, with book by Ivan Menchell, lyrics by Don Black, and music by Frank Wildhorn, doesn’t attempt to be large. It’s intriguing, poignant, and convincing. In fact, Laura Osnes as Bonnie Parker and Jeremy Jordan as Clyde Barrow brought the audience along on their wild American crime spree, circa 1930’s. Parker and Barrow, both from Texas, fed on their mutual energy and ecstasy in robbing banks, gas stations, and stores, springing from prisons, and shooting anyone that was in the middle. Yet, with all the bloody victims, mainly at the hand of Clyde, and the busy Depression era photos and videos, against dusty wooden sets, the visual violence seemed contained. But their giant, true to life, Ford convertible sedan was a wonder to experience, with those blazing headlights and so many places to go.

In fact, Parker and Barrow were so family bound, that they literally risked their lives to visit their parents for picnics and celebrations, with an astounding level of bravado. Barrow’s brother, Buck (Claybourne Elder), was also driven to a doomed life on the lamb, thanks to Clyde’s persuasive tactics, but Buck’s wife, Blanche (Melissa Van Der Schyff), took longer to rope in. There’s a large cast of characters, much larger than necessary (I’ll make that point below), including Young Clyde (Talon Ackerman) and Young Bonnie (Kelsey Fowler), who offer the prelude to a fascination with adventure. Bonnie’s mother, Clyde’s two parents, a Minister, Judges, Sheriff Schmid (Joe Hart, relentless on the case), Policemen (including Ted Hinton, played by Louis Hobson, forever in love with Bonnie), a Governor, Guards, Shopkeeper, Bank Teller, and so on, all add too much detail to what could be an ensemble kind of show. Without a string of sub-plots, this tale of fearless, fervent romance would be mesmerizing on the small stage. A stripped down cast could consist of these same six leads and a half dozen extras, those most central to the story. The set could be synthesized, the band minimized, and songs cut to twelve, instead of twenty.

Jeff Calhoun has directed and choreographed to enhance the stage chemistry between Ms. Osnes and Mr. Jordan, and it works. Unfortunately, one must lean forward and look hard to find them, among this endless array of actors, singers, dancers, and projections. Lyrics and music are heart-rending and enthused, such as “This World Will Remember Us”, “Too Late To Turn Back Now”, and “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad”, all three sung by Bonnie and Clyde. There’s so much potential here for an extrapolated, small-stage show. Tobin Ost’s sets and costumes could have been so engaging, had there been less to focus the eye on. Lighting, sound, and projections all maximize a seamless flow of boundless brawn and braininess. After all, this duo did survive the odds until the inevitable, which came about from their astoundingly predictable family schedules. Jason Howland and John McDaniel created catchy and charming orchestrations and musical direction. Laura Osnes was favorably reviewed in this magazine, for her elegant voice and dancing in Anything Goes. Ms. Osnes has a bright career path in the works. Mr. Jordan was highly reviewed on this page for his acting and vocals in West Side Story, and he, too, is a rising star.



Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes
in "Bonnie & Clyde"
Courtesy of Nathan Johnson



Melissa Van Der Schyff, Claybourne Elder,
Louis Hobson, Jeremy Jordan
in "Bonnie & Clyde"
Courtesy of Nathan Johnson



Melissa Van Der Schyff, Claybourne Elder,
Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes
in "Bonnie & Clyde"
Courtesy of Nathan Johnson



Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan
in "Bonnie & Clyde"
Courtesy of Nathan Johnson



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net