Orange County Theatre Reviews

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

bonnie_and_clyde_1967_5

Bonnie & Clyde (1967) Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway

Bonnie and Clyde are no strangers to the spotlight.  Although I am certain not everyone knows exactly who they were and what they did, their names are forever linked with a certain sense of notoriety and tragedy.  Now, I remember meeting an older gentleman who expressed frustration that a movie like the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde would be made considering the nature of the subject matter (he viewed the couple as contemptible and any film featuring them to be needless glorification of thuggery). Had he watched the Curtis Theatre’s production of the Broadway musical Bonnie and Clyde, he might have noticed that glorification of criminality occurs at a minimum.  The show is much more about the title characters’ relationship than it is about how exciting it is to rob banks.  And the story of that relationship is played up well enough to be more exciting than any bank robbery any day.

When we first meet our stars, they are children–Bonnie wishes to be in the center of a movie screen, Clyde longs for the wealth and power that accompanies successful outlaws.  Enter adult Bonnie and Clyde (played by Courtney Daniels and Trevor Shor respectively) who want the exact same thing.  They rapidly meet each other at a roadside and fall in love.  As time passes their passion for one another is intensified, and thus acquainted they run off together committed to their dreams of fame, fortune, and each other.

I really enjoyed this show.  The Curtis Theatre provides a comfortable atmosphere and the set is engaging as well as nice to look at.  If you see some photographs from the Broadway production of Bonnie and Clyde, you will find that they pretty much re-created the original set in miniature. They make good use of the sliding walls and projected images serve effectively as the backdrop.  There’s also a live band playing all of the music, and they sound excellent.  

 When you consider the actual musical composition in the show.  Just listening, it is easy to understand why the show only lasted one month on Broadway–most of the songs are really not that good.  They further the storyline appropriately, and are sung by clear-voiced experts, but quite a few of them just don’t sound that exciting.  Nevertheless, the choreography for the performers is fun to watch, and the acting in the show is sufficient to carry the audience through even the blandest of songs. The voices of the singers, make the few good songs a genuine treat.  Not to mention the simplistic but valid messages they often have– “Dyin’ ain’t so bad.  Not if you both go together. Only when one’s left behind does it get sad”.

The real-life couple that serve as our leads are focused throughout the show, demonstrating strong chemistry and engagement with one another. Daniels and Shor both have strong vocals and are presentationally suited to play their characters in every way.  While Bonnie and Clyde’s music is not the best to listen to, the skill of the leads coupled with the fun plot make this a worthwhile show.  

Feb 5, 2016 – Feb 20, 2016

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My Review
8.8 Overall
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Pros
Strong lead actor and actress. Professional set.
Cons
Only a few memorable songs.
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