Bonnie and Clyde, the Musical
The Bug Theatre: 7/24 – 8/15
L-R: Annika Merkel and Kalond Irlanda
Equinox Theatre’s production of “Bonnie and Clyde, the Musical” is worth a peek for many reasons. The music by Frank Wildhorn (“Jekyll and Hyde”) with lyrics by Don Black is enjoyable in the listening if mostly forgettable thereafter. The book is by Ivan Menchell (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Cemetery Club.”) Just as in Arthur Penn’s film “Bonnie and Clyde” these two bank robbers and killers are painted as good-looking, glamorous figures. In this version the duo are even asked for autographs by the people they're threatening. So we continue to see that the violent culture of America makes heroic icons out of those who wield the mighty gun.
Annika Merkel is a fetching Bonnie with a great set of pipes. Her soprano is very enjoyable and her stage presence appealing. Ms. Merkel is another up and coming star out of that phenomenal UNC acting program.
Kalond Irlanda does a damned good job with Clyde. His vocals are mostly all good. However, when the score begins to rock into the upper range it’s difficult for Irlanda to go there. The evolution of his acting skills since his last outing as Bobby Strong in “Urinetown, the Musical” is heartening, and one hopes to see him soon again upon the Denver stage.
Matt Kok, Jesus in “Godspell” and Man 1 in “Songs for a New World” at Miners Alley Playhouse, puts another notch in his holster belt as Ted, the cop who loved Bonnie.
Preston Adams’ preacher raises the roof with his all-out Gospel singing of “God’s Arms Are Always Open.”
Sarah Dutcher who sings and acts the part of Buck's wife, Blanche very well could have used a little more direction in the acting of this southern hick.
Gregory Farinelli gives a strong reading of Frank Hamer, the Texas Ranger who “got” Bonnie and Clyde.
Benjamin Cowhick’s fine performance as Clyde’s brother Buck gives us the authentic flavor of the old South in its day. Cowhick received the 2014 Marlowe Award for his performance in Ashton and Abster’s production of “Good Television.”
The costumes by Deb Flomberg are mostly right on target.
Young Clyde is played by Carter Novinger (Marlowe Award for his performance as Winthrop in Town Hall Arts’ Production of “The Music Man.”)
Ashlynne Bogema, a 7th grader at Thunder Ridge Middle School, plays Young Bonnie. It is to be hoped that this fine young actor will continue her studies of the dramatic arts.
Michelle Fitzgerald’s music direction is thoroughly well executed. The offstage orchestra for “Bonnie and Clyde” sounds better than those of any of the musicals this reviewer has attended thus far at The Bug.
It is to be noted that Curt Behm is in charge of “microphone tech” for this show. His work allows the dialogue to be heard more crisply and clearly than ever before at this venue.
Colin Roybal’s direction is his best to date. Roybal, who constructed the very well done minimalist scenic design, also provides the lighting.
The Bug Theatre is located at 3654 Navajo Street, Denver, Colorado.
For tickets call: 303-477-5977 or go online at bugtheatre.infoMarlowe's Musings