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Southern Florida by John Lariviere

Bonnie & Clyde
Slow Burn Theatre Company

Also see John's reviews of I and You, Into the Woods and The Wiz

Jessica Brooke Sanford and
Bruno Faria

Slow Burn Theatre presents Bonnie & Clyde featuring music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black and book by Ivan Menchell. The musical debuted on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on December 1, 2011, closing after just four weeks. The Broadway production received nominations for three Outer Critics Circle Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, and two Tony Awards.

The musical romanticizes the life and crimes of real life outlaws Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow. The infamous young couple, originally from the Dallas area, traveled the central United States during the Great Depression, leaving a trail of crimes and death, before being killed in a police ambush in 1934.

Bruno Faria knocks his portrayal of Clyde out of the park. With a charismatic combination of mischievous charm and bad-boy swagger, he conjures raw sexual chemistry with co-star Jessica Brooke Sanford as Bonnie. They sing together compellingly, "This World Will Remember Me" and "Too Late to Turn Back Now."

Wildhorn provides some great duets for this show. Christian Vandepas as Buck and Faria as Clyde are electric in the duet "When I Drive." The voices of Patrick Rodriguez as Ted and Faria as Clyde blend beautifully in the song "You Can Do Better Than Him." Together, Kaela Antolino as Blanche and Sanford as Bonnie sing a passionate "You Love Who You Love." Not to be outdone by their elders, promising young talents Nicholas V. Ismailoff and Juliette Valle shine as Young Clyde and Young Bonnie in the song "Picture Show." The lovely voice of David Cohn also shines as the Preacher in the song "God's Arms Are Always Open."

Wildhorn's score, a combination of rockabilly, blues, and gospel music, provides engaging rhythms throughout the show and is played with heart and a little bit of soul by the live five-piece orchestra. Costumes, scenic design, lighting, and sound elements all come together smoothly, even through mid-song, on-stage costume changes. Outstanding direction by director Patrick Fitzwater and music director Emmanuel Schvartzman results in strong, layered characters, clear stylistic choices, and unusually smooth vocal blending in this thoroughly entertaining production.

The Slow Burn Theatre production of Bonnie & Clyde will be appearing through February 8, 2015. The theatre is located at the West Boca Performing Arts Center on the campus of West Boca High School, at 12811 West Glades Rd. in Boca Raton (3.5 miles west of 441). For more information on Slow Burn you may contact them by phone at 866-811-4111 or line at

Slow Burn Theatre Company is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) professional theatre company hiring local actors and actresses. They are committed to bringing high-quality contemporary musical theatre to South Florida, and to proving that modern Broadway can rock. The company also offers technical internships to local students, providing them with professional experience.

Clyde Barrow: Bruno Faria
Bonnie Parker: Jessica Brooke Sanford
Blanche Barrow: Kaela Antolino
Buck Barrow: Christian Vandepas
Ted Hinton: Patrick Rodriguez
Preacher: David Cohn
Emma Parker: Kaitlyn O'Neill
Cumie Barrow/Governor Ferguson: Meredith Bartmon
Henry/Ensemble: Dan Carter
David Michael Sirois: Sheriff Schmid
Young Clyde: Nicholas V. Ismailoff
Young Bonnie: Juliette Valle
Eleanor/Ensemble: Idalmy Carcache
Trish/Ensemble: Janelle Mack
Stella/Ensemble: Erin Pittleman
Ensemble: Matthew Korinko, Bradley Mack, Conor Walton, Rick Pena

Director/Choreographer: Patrick Fitzwater
Music Director: Emmanuel Schvartzman
Scenic Design: Sean McClelland
Lighting Design: Lance Blank
Sound Design: Danny Butler
Costume Design: Rick Pena
Stage Manager: Britni Serrano

Photo: Gemma Bramham

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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