Bonnie & Clyde
America's most notorious lovers and bank robbers take the country by storm in this sexy and compelling adventure.
Show Essentials
14
Roles
+ Ensemble
15
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

The show begins with a shocking tableau of our two protagonists, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, dead in the front seat of their iconic grey Ford Deluxe Sedan. We are then immediately taken back to Depression-era West Texas with a young Bonnie at twelve years old as she dreams of her life as a movie star and a young Clyde who dreams of a life like Al Capone and Billy the Kid ("Picture Show"). The two grow up, holding onto and pursuing these same dreams, though it appears to have lead to nothing as we come to find that neither has escaped their resentful lives in West Texas, Bonnie a waitress at a diner and Clyde a frequent inmate at the county prison.

Clyde, who has just broken out of prison with his brother and partner-in-crime, Buck, discovers Bonnie, stranded on this side of the road with a broken down car. The two dreamers connect almost immediately as he fixes her car in exchange for a lift to Dallas ("This World Will Remember Me"). Meanwhile, Buck flees to his wife, Blanche, who urges him to turn himself back in so that once he has set things straight with the law and the Lord, they can start their lives fresh ("You're Goin' Back To Jail").

Bonnie and Clyde spend the next several days together. She shares her dreams of becoming a starlet, a poet and a singer. Clyde persuades her to sing for him ("How 'Bout A Dance?"). Bonnie takes him back to her house to stay the night and hide from the law, though it is short-lived when Ted, police officer and friend of the Parkers, shows up to check on Bonnie and warn her of a loose prisoner spotted in her area. This unexpected visit forces Clyde to spree, though not before he convinces Bonnie that both of their dreams will come true if they skip town together - his of a life without worrying about money, and hers of extraordinary fame. He tells her to meet him at his brother, Buck's house, and takes off to retrieve him.

The brothers' reunion starts off sweet, thrilled to see each other again and talking of leaving town in the latest Ford car ("When I Drive"). However, when Bonnie arrives and Clyde urges his brother to join them on the road, Blanche forces Buck to confess his plans to return to prison and an argument breaks out between the four of them. Their dispute grows to the point that Clyde slaps Bonnie for suggesting that he follow Buck and resign from his life as a criminal. Bonnie, in turn, slaps Clyde for mistreating her, and the two of them leave angrily.

Buck goes through with his plan to turn himself in and authorities eventually catch Clyde, as well ("God's Arms Are Always Open"). Both Blanche and Bonnie visit their respective Barrow men and discover that Clyde has been facing continuous assault by fellow inmates encouraged by the prison guards. Ted, on guard at the prison, finally realizes Bonnie's relationship with Clyde. He laments that he is the better man for Bonnie, while Clyde insists his is the only love worthy of her ("You Can Do Better Than Him").

The following night, the eve of the Barrows' hearing, Blanche and Bonnie face the criticism of their friends and family for standing by their love for these criminals, but the women realize they cannot help their adoration ("You Love Who You Love"). They find themselves with the rest of the Barrow clan, who come to hear of the Barrow brothers' fates: Buck to be released on good behavior, and Clyde to serve another sixteen years for seven counts of robbery and a prison break.

Six months later, Bonnie visits a severely beaten Clyde, and the two plot to break Clyde out ("Raise A Little Hell"). Bonnie returns the next day with a gun hidden in her brassiere and leaves it with Clyde, who threatens to use it on the guard if he doesn't let Clyde go free. The prison guard obliges, and in no time Clyde is back to stealing money to get by. While their friends and family react to the news of their great escape, Bonnie, though reluctant to stay if it means sticking to criminal schemes, and Clyde take off in their 1931 roadster, excited and determined to fulfill their life-long dreams ("This World Will Remember Us").

Act Two

The second act opens with a society torn between the righteousness of living under the law and the sympathy of trying to live a better life in these harsh times ("Made In America"), showing that Bonnie and Clyde's criminal escapades have not only gained the attention of the press, but also support from the general public. However, in a grocery store robbery gone wrong, Clyde kills a deputy who was 'trying to be a hero.' When Clyde comes clean to her about his accidental transition from robbery to murder, a hysterical Bonnie wants out, but finds that she's too far from what her life used to be to go back ("Too Late To Turn Back Now"). The grocery store shooting only earns the two hero status throughout the country with police in every Southern state in pursuit of them. Clyde sends sporadic letters to Buck and Blanche, writing of all the adventure and opportunity they've found for themselves on the road. Buck sees that this life could also be possible for him and Blanche, and tries to convince Blanche that they should join Bonnie and his brother, though she refuses ("That's What You Call A Dream").

The notorious duo carry on their robbery spree, growing progressively more daring in their endeavors and taking on banks instead of stores ("What Was Good Enough For You"). Clyde even suggests that Bonnie send her latest poem about their story in to a big newspaper to be published. This not only gains more fame for the both of them, but also infuriates the Texas team of investigators to the point that Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson interferes and recruits retired Texas Ranger Frank Hamer to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. But in the middle of a disastrous bank raid, Clyde is shot in the shoulder. When he hears the news of his injured brother, Buck leaves home and Blanche, who's torn between her righteousness and her love for Buck, in order to help Clyde.

Meanwhile, in their hideaway, the increasingly infamous couple share a tender moment ("Bonnie"), though it is quickly interrupted by Buck's arrival. A hesitant Blanche, who chose love over law after all, accompanies him. Days later, while Buck and Clyde are out for another robbery ("Raise A Little Hell [Reprise]"), Blanche inquires how Bonnie can possibly be happy living the way they do as the two women anxiously await the brothers' return. Bonnie insists that she and Clyde are the only people truly living their lives to the fullest ("Dyin' Ain't So Bad"). The boys return safely, but the celebration is brief as they learn that the authorities have discovered their hide-out and have them surrounded. A shoot-out follows, and though Clyde and Bonnie successfully escape, Buck is fatally injured and dies in Blanche's arms. Blanche is arrested immediately ("God's Arms Are Always Open [Reprise]").

While heading back to Dallas to visit their parents, a sporadic habit the two have picked up, Clyde troubles over how his family will ever forgive him for abandoning Buck and leaving him to die. Bonnie assures him that Buck's death was not his fault, but both of them start to see that their famous adventures are coming to an end ("Picture Show [Reprise]/Dyin' Ain't So Bad [Reprise]"). All the while, Ted and the rest of the gang in pursuit of the legendary two-some discover this habit of visiting their parents. On May 23, 1934, on a road in Louisiana, Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed, meeting the end of their fateful journey.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Clyde Barrow
A charming small-town boy who craves notoriety. Bonnie's reckless, bold, daring lover.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A2
Bonnie Parker
A beautiful girl torn between love and fame. Clyde's ambitious, stubborn lover.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Marvin "buck" Barrow
Clyde's brother and an outlaw troubled by his wife's distaste for his lifestyle. Adventurous and loyal.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Blanche Barrow
A religious woman who disapproves of the criminal lifestyle. Honorable and righteous. Married to Buck Barrow.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Cumie Barrow
A kind woman among those suffering in the Depression. Loyal and selfless. Mother to Clyde and Buck.
Gender: female
Age: 40 to 55
Sherriff Schmid
Array
Ted Hinton
A police officer struggling to separate his feelings from his duties. Kind and honest. Madly in love with Bonnie.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Young Clyde
Array
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Young Bonnie
Array
Gender: female
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: C#4
Emma Parker
Bonnie's widowed mother. Fragile, caring, sensitive.
Gender: female
Age: 40 to 55
Preacher
The town's evangelist. Loud, passionate, boisterous.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 65
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A2
Henry Barrow
A hard-working man, struggling to survive. Humble and quiet. Father of Clyde and Buck.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Governor Miriam Ferguson
An enforcer of the law and Governor of Texas. Tough and harsh.
Gender: female
Age: 40 to 60
Captain Frank Hamer
A retired Texas Ranger who joins the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde. Recruited by Governor Ferguson.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 65
Bob Alcorn
The best sharpshooter in Texas. Recruited by Frank Hamer, he helps hunt down Bonnie and Clyde.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Ensemble
Store Clerks; Cops/Guards; Bank Customers; Choir; Bread Line Folks
Full Song List
Bonnie & Clyde: How 'Bout a Dance (Top of Show)
Bonnie & Clyde: Picture Show
Bonnie & Clyde: This World Will Remember Me
Bonnie & Clyde: You're Goin' Back to Jail
Bonnie & Clyde: How 'Bout a Dance
Bonnie & Clyde: When I Drive
Bonnie & Clyde: God's Arms Are Always Open
Bonnie & Clyde: You Can Do Better Than Him
Bonnie & Clyde: You Love Who You Love
Bonnie & Clyde: Raise a Little Hell
Bonnie & Clyde: This World (End of Act 1)
Bonnie & Clyde: Made in America
Bonnie & Clyde: Too Late to Turn Back Now
Bonnie & Clyde: Now That's What You Call a Dream
Bonnie & Clyde: What Was Good Enough for You
Bonnie & Clyde: Bonnie
Bonnie & Clyde: Raise a Little Hell (Reprise)
Bonnie & Clyde: Dyin' Ain't So Bad
Bonnie & Clyde: Dyin' Finale (Reprise)
Bonnie & Clyde: Finale- How 'Bout a Dance

Show History

Inspiration

Bonnie & Clyde, with music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, and a book by Ivan Menchell, is a musicalized take on the true story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, a pair of outlaws and lovers who gained notoriety during the Great Depression. Wildhorn had previously collaborated with Black on Dracula The Musical, and came to him about writing a song cycle based on Bonnie and Clyde's story. They came out with a 13-song demo that featured performances from Rob Evan, Brandi Burkhardt, and Linda Eder; only five songs of the demo were kept for the musical itself. Wildhorn and Black's score is a hodgepodge of country and western (based on the Texas setting), blues, and Broadway pop music.

Productions

Bonnie & Clyde started as a industry-only reading at the Roundabout Theatre Company with Laura Osnes and Stark Sands. The musical officially premieredat the La Jolla Playhouse on November 22, 2009, featuring the same two leads. A positive reception from the run in California led to a return engagement atthe Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. It ran from November 19 to December 19, 2010, with Jeremy Jordan replacing Sands in the role of Clyde.

The success from Florida's production led the way for a run on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. With reprises from Osnes and Jordan, it opened on December 1, 2011. Despite a continued positive reception from audiences, low ticket sales prompted producers to announce the show would close early. The run ended on December 30 after only 36 regular performances.

The musical has seen a handful of international productions. A Japanese language production played in Tokyo from late 2011 to early 2012. On September 23,2013, a Korean language production premiered in Seoul. Most recently, ArtsEd in Chiwick, London staged the U.K. premiere from January 17-25, 2014.

Critical Reaction

"The diversity of Wildhorn's score [...] is undeniably impressive." - The Los Angeles Times

"Nearly every scene and music number worked to paint a fresh, poignant portrait of the iconic outlaw sweethearts. [...] Wildhorn's winningly eclecticscore covers everything from country and gospel to vintage pop and proto-rock. [...] Black's lyrics make the memorable melodies come alive with rich,timeless language that does a near-perfect job of serving the period piece." - The Bradenton Herald

"There is much to recommend in this show about the two fame-obsessed Texas outlaws in the early 1930s. [... a tune-filled score by Frank Wildhorn andlyricist Don Black." - The Herald Tribune

"This is Wildhorn's most developed, most genuinely theatrical score." - Newsday

"An arresting new musical. [...] The score has plenty to offer." - Variety

"The creative team have endeavored to breathe contemporary relevance into the story by emphasizing the climate of hardship, economic struggle andinstitutional indifference that made Parker and Barrow into folk heroes." - The Hollywood Reporter

Connect

Billing

Requirements

Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

 

(i) You agree to bill the Play and the Authors in all programs, houseboards, displays and in all advertising and all paid publicity, in the following manner:

BONNIE & CLYDE 100%
 Book by
IVAN MENCHELL 50%
Lyrics by 
DON BLACK 50%
Music by
FRANK WILDHORN 50%
 

 

No names except the title, performer(s) above the title and Producer(s) shall precede Author’s names.  No names except the title and star(s) above the title may be larger or more prominent than Author’s, and no names except star(s) above the title and the theatre presenting the Play and the director and Producer(s) may receive billing as large and as prominent as Authors.   The names of each Author shall be (i) equal in size, style of type, coloring, boldness, and prominence and (ii) equal to 50% of the size of the non-logo title of the Play but in the same style of type, and no less than 25% of the size of the logo title. Where credit is given in a so-called “billing box,” and no credits other than the title, and the stars receiving credit above the title and the theatre are outside the billing box, Author’s billing shall be based on the size of the title in the billing box, provided credits for any producer in such billing box are proportionately reduced and provided that in all circumstances, Author’s credit must be legible. For all credit purposes hereunder, Author’s billing shall read in the following order:  Book by Ivan Menchell, Lyrics by Don Black, Music by Frank Wildhorn.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, licensees shall not be required to give credit to the Authors in ABC ads other than on Sundays and print ads of less than one-quarter page, television and radio ads, websites and outdoor advertising (including throwaways) where no credit is given except the name of the Play, stars, and the name and address of the theatre, and award congratulatory or nomination ads in any medium in which the only person or entity mentioned is the person awarded, congratulated or nominated.

(ii)  Licensees in the United States, Canada and Japan must provide clear and prominent credit on any and all playbills for licensees’ productions of the Play substantially as follows:

Original Broadway Production Produced by
Kathleen Raitt  Jerry Frankel  Jeffrey Richards
Barry Satchwell Smith   Michael A. Jenkins
 
Howard Caplan    Bernie Abrams/Michael Speyer    Howard Kagan
Barry & Carole Kaye  Terry Schnuck   Nederlander Presentations
Corey Brunish/Brisa Trinchero    Alden Badway Podell/The Broadway Consortium
Patty Baker   Bazinet & Company   Uniteus Entertainment  Ken Mahoney
Jeremy Scott Blaustein
 
in association with 
 
StageVentures 2011 Limited Partnership  Darren Bagert   Robert G. Bartner/Ambassador Theatre Group
BGM  Broadway Across America   Michael D. Coit   Mary Cossette   Ronald Frankel   Lloyd Fruge
Bruce Robert Harris/Jack W. Batman   Cynthia Stroum   DSM/Gabriel Kamel  Irving Welzer
 
 
(iii) The following credit must appear in all programs for all licensed productions in the US, Canada and the British Isles (the credit for La Jolla and Asolo shall be in the same size of type):
 
World Premiere of Bonnie & Clyde produced by La Jolla Playhouse
Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director & Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director
 
Subsequently presented at Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota FL
Michael Donald Edward, Producing Artistic Director & Linda DiGabriele, Managing Director

(iv)  In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, or where only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided, the following “shortened billing” is permissible:

BONNIE & CLYDE

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate Video Licence to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your programme: ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORISED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase a separate Video Licence then you must print the following in your programme: The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
FULL SCORE VOL. 1 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 2 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 3 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 4 OF 4
LOGO PACK
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
REFERENCE RECORDING
SCENE PARTNER
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS , ELECTRIC BASS
DRUMSBELL TREE , DRUM KIT , EGG SHAKER , GLOCKENSPIEL , MARK TREE , SHAKER , TRIANGLE , WOOD BLOCK , XYLOPHONE , 1-SHOT SHAKER
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR , LES PAUL GUITAR , 12-STRING GUITAR
GUITAR 2ACOUSTIC GUITAR , BANJO , DOBRO , ELECTRIC GUITAR , MANDOLIN , PEDAL STEEL GUITAR
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , ENGLISH HORN , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE
REED 2BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , TENOR SAXOPHONE
VIOLIN