Wildhorn & Black Will Make Bonnie & Clyde Sing at La Jolla in Fall 2009

News   Wildhorn & Black Will Make Bonnie & Clyde Sing at La Jolla in Fall 2009
La Jolla Playhouse will stage the world premiere musical Bonnie & Clyde, by Frank Wildhorn, Don Black and Ivan Menchell, starting in November 2009, replacing the musical The Big Time.
Frank Wildhorn
Frank Wildhorn

Jeff Calhoun (Deaf West's Big River) will direct the new show about the Depression-era American criminals. Music is by Tony nominee Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel), lyrics are by Tony Award winner Black (Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance) and the book is by Ivan Menchell (The Cemetery Club, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

Performances will play Nov. 10–Dec. 20 in the Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla, CA.

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." According the June 5 La Jolla announcement, "Bonnie & Clyde is based on the lives of Depression-era outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, whose notorious exploits captured the country's imagination. This seductive and cinematic new musical examines how a troubled Texas teen and a love-sick waitress became America's most infamous couple, with a thrilling new score that combines rockabilly, blues and gospel music."

As previously announced, La Jolla Playhouse’s acclaimed 2008 production of Memphis will transfer to Broadway in October 2009. "Artistic director Christopher Ashley, who helmed the Playhouse production last year, will direct the New York version as well. Ashley was originally slated to direct the La Jolla's production of The Big Time, but due to his new Memphis rehearsal schedule in New York, the Playhouse has chosen the new musical Bonnie & Clyde as its final show of the season."

No casting has been announced for Bonnie & Clyde.

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


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.

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