"Bonnie & Clyde" Another Winner For Slow Burn Theatre
By Skip Sheffield
If Arthur Penn had not cast two of the best-looking actors in Hollywood, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, for his 1967 movie “Bonnie & Clyde,” it is doubtful the popularity of the Depression era desperadoes would be so enduring. But he did and the image of Bonnie & Clyde as sexy outlaws was engraved in stone.
Slow Burn Theatre presents “Bonnie & Clyde” the musical through Feb. 8 at the Performing Arts Auditorium of West Boca Raton High School. If you are wary about a musical based on the exploits of a couple of desperate bank-robbers, don’t be. The book, by Ivan Menchell dispenses the excess details of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s short time together, such as the gang they had, and rather concentrates on the relationship of the two main characters.
Bonnie Parker (Jessica Brooke Sanford) and Clyde Barrow (Bruno Faria) met in 1930 and died in a hail of bullets on May 23, 1934 in Bienville Parish Louisiana. The musical begins with a brief scene and that hail of bullets, mercifully stylized, then it flashes back to the two characters and their early life together. Bonnie wanted to be a movie star, “like Clara Bow,” as she and young Clyde (Juliette Valle and Nicholas V. Ismailoff) explain in the Frank Wildhorn song “Picture Show.”
Wildhorn, whose best-known show, “Jekyll & Hyde,” ran four years on Broadway, has provided a tuneful and serviceable score (lyrics by Don Black) which advances the story.
Jessica Sanford and Bruno Farina are an attractive couple, and they generate a suitable amount of heat as the doomed couple. Kaela Antonio is good as Bonnie's disapproving sister-in-law, Blanche, as is Patrick Rodriguez as the lovelorn cop, Ted Hinton.
Juliette Valle is exceptional as the young Bonnie Parker. Only 13, this poised and professional girl is a star in the making.
Director/choreographer Patrick Fitzwater has another winner on his hands. Musical director Manny Schwartzmam does wonders with a four-piece combo. "Dyin' Ain't So Bad" goes the song. For its short life, this romantic, violent fable is fully alive.
Tickets are $40 general admission and $25 students. Call 866-811-4111.