The six-performance test run (Sept. 14-25) at the Manhattan festival is a full production — NYMF's goal is to present realized, yet modest, stagings that are more ambitious than readings.
Music (and musical direction) is by two-time Olivier Award nominee Dana P. Rowe (The Witches of Eastwick, The Fix, Zombie Prom), with book and lyrics by Michael Aman and Oscar E. Moore.
According to the producers, "The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde uses the Nashville sound to recount the story of the infamous outlaw couple. Bonnie breaks Clyde out of prison and together they break the country out of the monotony of the Great Depression by dishing up Country Rock 'n' Roll, Grand Ol' Opry style!"
The cast of The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde also includes Marcus Neville as Frank Hamer, Fred Berman as Raymond Hamilton, Brian Charles Rooney as Deacon Jones, Erich Bergen as Buck Barrow and Heidi Blickenstaff as Blanche Barrow, with Nancy Lee Bach, Michael Aaron Capps, Michael McCoy, Emily Mikesell, Nancy Slusser and Louis Tucci. *
Anna Louizos (Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias) is the set consultant, Daniel Cole is the costume consultant, Traci Klainer is the lighting designer and Mike Farfalla is the sound designer.
Dana Rowe composed The Witches of Eastwick, which had productions in London (Olivier Award nominee), Moscow, Tokyo and Melbourne. His Zombie Prom had productions Off-Broadway and in Germany. A film version, featuring RuPaul, is currently in production. He also received an Olivier Award nomination for The Fix, which was directed by Sam Mendes at London's Donmar Warehouse. Rowe received scholarships for his studies at Indiana University School of Music and Ohio State University School of Music, where he graduated with the Dean's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Michael Aman co-wrote the book for Let Me Sing! A Musical Evolution with Michael Bush (George Street Playhouse; Charlotte Repertory Theatre). His musical Masada (with Oscar E. Moore; music by Benjamin Rosenbluth) was performed at the York Theatre.
Oscar E. Moore wrote the comedy A Royal Mess (a.k.a. The King's Mare), which had its world premiere at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton, FL, and was nominated for three Carbonell Awards. With Michael Aman, he wrote Stonewall, Unwanted: The Very Ugly Duckling, Trish at 10:00, Masada and Antigone: a musical comedy tragedy.
Director Michael Bush is currently the director of artistic production for the Manhattan Theatre Club. He has been associated with MTC for almost 25 years and served as its associate artistic director from 1990-2002. He left MTC in 2002 and served as the producing artistic director of Charlotte Repertory Theatre through 2004, after which he returned to MTC. He is also the artistic director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2005 Cabaret and Performance Conference. In 2006, he will direct Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Based on a Totally True Story at MTC.
Randy Skinner was Tony nominated for his work on the 42nd Street revival and Ain't Broadway Grand. He also choreographed State Fair, After the Night and the Music, Irving Berlin's White Christmas (being seen in three cities this fall), Do Re Mi (City Center Encores!), Lone Star Love (Lucille Lortel nomination) and more.
The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde is presented by The New York Musical Theatre Festival and Rusty Butter Knife Productions.
Performances play at The Theatre at St. Clements (423 W. 46th Street).
The performance schedule, in rep with other shows in the fest, is Sept. 14 at 8 PM, Sept. 16 at 8 PM, Sept. 17 at 5 PM, Sept. 21 at 9 PM, Sept. 24 at 5 PM, Sept. 25 at 7 PM.
Tickets for The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde are $15 and are available online at www.NYMF.org or by calling (212) 352- 3101.
There are a number of musicals based on the lives of the American outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, including Bonnie & Clyde, the Musical by David Cosgrove (book), Robert Dallas (music and additional lyrics) and Peter Callander (lyrics), seen at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in England in 2003; Bonnie and Clyde, seen at Bailiwick Rep in Chicago; and composer-lyricist-librettist's Paul Graham Brown's Bonnie and Clyde, which premiered in 2001 in Germany (and has enjoyed subsequent success there). Actor-writer Hunter Foster (who penned the libretto to Summer of '42) has also written the book of a new musical, Bonnie and Clyde, with music and lyrics by Rick Crom, who was nominated for two Drama Desks for Newsical. Jeremy Kushnier and Megan Lawrence were Bonnie and Clyde in a recent New York City reading of Foster-Crom version.