Bonnie and Clyde - Broadway

Bonnie and Clyde - Broadway

New York, NY - No one deliberately sets out to make a flop, but somewhere along the way the multitude of harried producers of this less-than-mediocre $6-million musical must have realized that there was no hope of survival. It makes one wonder why the weaknesses weren't spotted during its tryout at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida, which also gave birth to the ill-fated "A Tale of Two Cities."

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Bonnie and Clyde - Broadway

Book writer Ivan Menchell ("The Cemetery Club"), composer Frank Wildhorn ("Jekyll & Hyde"), lyricist Don Black ("Sunset Boulevard") and director/choreographer Jeff Calhoun chose to delve into the dreary, Depression-era biographical backstory, exploring how and why two larcenous, small-town Texans became America's Most Wanted, beginning with a stunning depiction of the blood-soaked duo's death in a bullet-riddled car.

Ambitious Bonnie Parker (Laura Osnes) always wanted to be a Hollywood movie star like Clara Bow. Cheeky, escaped convict Clyde Barrow (Jeremy Jordan), the son of a sharecropper, idolized outlaws Billy the Kid and Jesse James. Obviously, they are intoxicated by fame and fortune, vowing "This world will remember me." And both have suffered: Bonnie's losing her father and Clyde's recurrent raping in the local jail cell.

In contrast to their bank-robbing capers, Clyde's brother Buck (Claybourne Elder), was once his fun-loving partner but Buck's rebellious streak has been tamed by his pious, strait-laced wife, Blanche (Melissa van der Schyff), who is determined that he must return to prison to serve out his sentence. Yada, yads, yada.

Far too elegant and sporting an impressive zumba-dancer's six-pack, Laura Osnes steals the show, leaving Jeremy Jordan and the rest of the cast in the dust, literally and figuratively. But her performance is simply not enough to sustain interest, even punctuated by Aaron Rhyne's video projections of dust-bowl photos.

If the "Bonnie and Clyde" story intrigues you, it's best to revisit Arthur Penn's iconic 1967 film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway with Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons as Buck and Blanche.

(Gerald Schoenfeld Theater 2011-2012 season) Through Dec 30th Only.

By Susan Granger, © 2011.

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