Osnes and Sands Are La Jolla's Bonnie & Clyde; Winningham and Van der Schyff Also Cast

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13 Jul 2009

Laura Osnes and Stark Sands
Laura Osnes and Stark Sands
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Laura Osnes, the actress known for musical sweetheart roles — Sandy in Grease and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific — will be pistol-packin' in the new Frank Wildhorn-Don Black musical, Bonnie & Clyde, to co-star Broadway's Stark Sands, of Journey's End.

The fresh-faced young performers (she is currently starring in Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific, he just played Sebastian in the acclaimed Twelfth Night in Central Park) will play Depression-era American criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. A production source confirmed that Mare Winningham (Off-Broadway's 10 Million Miles) will play Bonnie's mother and Melissa van der Schyff (Deaf West's Big River) will be Clyde's sister-in-law.

La Jolla Playhouse will produce the world premiere musical Bonnie & Clyde — by Tony Award-nominated composer Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Tony-winning lyricist Black (Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance) and book writer Ivan Menchell (The Cemetery Club, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) — Nov. 10-Dec. 20 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla, CA.

Jeff Calhoun (Deaf West's Big River) will direct. No official casting announcement has been made; more casting is expected.

Here's how La Jolla bills the musical: "Stuck in a dead-end job in Texas in the 1930s, young Bonnie Parker falls in love with Clyde Barrow, a charismatic criminal on the run from the law. Their love affair soon spirals out of control, as Bonnie & Clyde commit a series of bank robberies while staying one step ahead of the authorities. But as their notoriety — and body count — rises, the ill-fated lovers find themselves racing to the top of the Public Enemies list…with a bullet."



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Wildhorn told Playbill.com on June 5, "When I started working on this show, no one was talking about Bonnie & Clyde. Now, two new books have been published, a remake of the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway classic film is in production, and the FBI recently released close to a thousand pages of classified memos on the infamous couple.

"Clearly, they are once again piquing the interest of a troubled America. This has been a musical challenge unlike any I've known before. These are the most incredible and intriguing characters I've given a musical voice to.

"Until now, the characters I've written for have been fictional; I've taken theatrical emotions and tried to make them real. With Bonnie and Clyde, I'm taking real emotions and making them theatrical. The exciting libretto, with its danger, pathos and comedy, has inspired a score from country to Texas blues, from gospel to ragtime."

Bonnie & Clyde replaces the musical The Big Time.

Subscriptions to La Jolla Playhouse's 2009/2010 season are available by calling (858) 550-1010 or by visiting lajollaplayhouse.org.

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In 1999 Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde, Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War, which altogether garnered eight Tony nominations.

Wildhorn also wrote additional songs for Broadway's Victor/Victoria and was a producer and co-creator of Harlem Song at the legendary Apollo Theater.