Aurora Theatre Opens a Premiere Musical with a New Title – Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale

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Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre at Atlanta's Aurora TheatreAfter years of development, Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale is set to premiere at Aurora Theatre on March 15, 2012. Aurora Theatre first encountered the show at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, the prestigious annual showcase of potential Broadway hits, like the Tony Award and Pulitzer Award winning Next to Normal. Taking the helm of this promising debut is legendary Broadway veteran and Emmy Award-winning director Lonny Price. The magnificent Josh Rhodes, having been with the show all through development, will choreograph andAtlanta’s own Ann-Carol Pence, a local award-winner herself, joins the team as music director. It is no wonder the project has attracted world-class talent. The musical is the brain child of Broadway stars Hunter Foster and Rick Crom.

Originally titled and billed as Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale, the work has transformed through its development and a name change reflects the unorthodox spirit of this oft told tale. Director Lonny Price put it best on the opening day of rehearsal at Aurora Theatre saying, “Unlike the 1970’s film and other more dramatic renditions, our story will be told with a playful, irreverent humor.” Hence, a fitting new title is being introduced with the premiere, Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale.

The musical is set in a quaint southern town, where each year the townsfolk pay homage to their favorite anti-heroes with their historically dubious good ol’ musical about the bad ol’ days, Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale. America’s most romantic gangsters outwit and outrun a relentless, larger-than-life J. Edgar Hoover to the delight of the poor and downtrodden. As their relationship blossoms from “strictly business” to passionate romance, their adventures are full of madcap mayhem. The Barrow gang does anything and everything to stay one-step ahead of the law. Just like the infamous real-life story, the play ends with a bang.

The performance company is some of Atlanta’s top talent, all chomping at the bit to be a part of this historic production and to work with this legendary creative team. As the leading couple Aurora Theatre welcomes back the gorgeous and talented duo, J.C. Long (Kiss Me, Kate, Aurora Theatre, The Mikado, Atlanta Lyric, Avenue Q, Horizon Theatre) as Clyde Barrow and Laura Floyd (A Catered Affair, Aurora Theatre, Sanders Family Christmas, Theatre in the Square) as Bonnie Parker.In a very different take from recent film, the hilarious Bart Hansard (Gray Area, Aurora Theatre) asJ Edgar Hoover and as the evening’s brash master of ceremonies the amazing Karen Howell (Over the River and Through the Woods, Aurora Theatre, Sanders Family Christmas, Theatre in the Square).

Over the years Aurora Theatre has demonstrated an artistic commitment to new musicals leading to this prestigious premiere and establishing the company as a key figure in regional theatre’s role in Broadway success. Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez explains, “We see the potential for tremendous growth and national interest through our commitment to fostering new musicals.” He goes on to say, “How extraordinary for our patrons to get to see a show on its way to Broadway or before winning its first Tony or Drama Desk Award.”

Programming in Aurora Theatre’s 2011-2012 Main Stage Season is possible through generous support from Metro Waterproofing and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale is sponsored by Allgood Pest Solutions.

About the Creative Team

Hunter Foster (Book) originated the role of Bobby Strong in the Broadway and Off-Broadway companies of Urinetown (Outer Critic and Lucille Lortel Award Nominations) and was a Tony Award nominee for his portrayal of Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. Hunter has appeared on Broadway in: Million Dollar Quartet, The Producers, Grease, Footloose, Les Miserables and Alan Menken’s King David. As a writer, he has penned books to the musicals Summer of ‘42 (which premiered off-Broadway, 2002) and the upcoming Fearless. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Program (BFA, 1992).

Rick Crom (Music & Lyrics) is an award-winning actor, singer, comedian, lyricist, and composer. He has appeared in numerous television shows and specials, Broadway and off-Broadway musicals. Crom wrote the book, music, and lyrics for NEWSical, created the “Star Trek” spoof Space Trekwith bookwriter Marc Lipitz, and authored the topical musical revues Oh Fine RSVP!, The Subject Was Neurosis, Absolutely Rude, and Our Life and Times. He has been nominated 3 times for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics.

Lonny Price (Director) directed an acclaimed concert production of Sondheim’s Company with Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Martha Plimpton, Christina Hendricks, and Patti LuPone, backed by the New York Philharmonic. The television broadcast was nominated for several Emmy Awards, and won for ‘Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special.’ Mr. Price also directed and co-authored the Ed Kleban musical A Class Act on Broadway (five Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical). He won an Emmy for his film of Sweeney Todd (broadcast on PBS), directed the original cast reunion performances of Falsettos that inaugurated Playwrights Horizons’ new complex on Theatre Row and staged the Broadway musical Urban Cowboy. He conceived and directed Sondheim! The Birthday Concert Live at Carnegie Hall, celebrating the famed composer-lyricist’s 80th Birthday. Previously on Broadway, he directed Joan Rivers in her Tony-nominated turn as Lenny Bruce’s mother in Sally Marr… and her escorts (co-authored with Ms. Rivers and Erin Sanders). Off-Broadway, he supervised the Manhattan Theatre Club’s remounting of Athol Fugard’s Valley Song and directed Jules Feiffer’s Grown Ups and Jeff Baron’s Visiting Mr. Green (starring Eli Wallach). He has worked with Patti LuPone on a series of staged concert versions of musicals including Pal Joey (Encores!, with Peter Gallagher), Annie Get Your Gun (Lincoln Center with Mr. Gallagher), Sweeney Todd (Lincoln Center with George Hearn and the N.Y. Philharmonic) and A Little Night Music (the Ravinia Festival with Mr. Hearn and Zoe Caldwell). He was staff director of ABC’s One Life to Live (Emmy nomination) and is the former artistic director of Musical Theatre Works, where he is currently resident director. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway and off in a variety of plays and musicals including Burn This, The Immigrant, Master Harold… and the Boys, A Class Act and Merrily We Roll Along, receiving an Obie, Theatre World and Drama-League Awards. Film and television credits include roles in The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing and guest appearances on The Golden Girls and Law & Order.

Josh Rhodes (Choreographer) is a nationally recognized choreographer and performer with a wealth of high profile credits, including Broadway: Three Generations at the Kennedy Center, Annie Get Your Gun (starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia and They’re Playing Our Song (starring Jason Alexander) at Reprise in L.A. His work at major regional theatres includes Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Broadway Playhouse in Chicago, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Papermill Playhouse, North Carolina Theater and the Manhattan School of Music. Film and Television credits include Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert on PBS, 2011 Tony Awards on CBS. Broadway Performance credits include Fosse, Bells are Ringing, Sweet Smell of Success, Urban Cowboy, Man of La Mancha, The Boy from Oz, and Chicago.

Ann-Carol Pence (Music Director and Associate Producer) arranged the music for Aurora’s first Christmas Canteen in 1996 and was hired full-time in September of 1998. An education major at James Madison University, she used her background to develop Learning Library an educational language-arts pro­gram that this year alone served over 10,000 local school children with a live professional performance. She created Aurora’s Musicals by Moonlight, a sum­mer concert, and Aurora’s Cabaret Series, musical evenings of entertainment between mainstage events. She has performed as pianist and/or music direc­tor both nationally (Goodspeed Opera House, Pasadena Playhouse, The Koger Center, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Majestic, The Kennedy Center) and locally (The Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Jewish Theatre of the South, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, The Horizon Theatre). Career highlights include: Vocal Supervisor for Ellis Island Entertainment, producing in-house reviews for Holland America Cruise Lines, vo­cal direction for the gala celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s honorary doctorate, assistance in music direction for Heartstrings: An Evening of Hope for the Healing of AIDS. Her love of new musical development stemmed from years of music directing Amanda McBroom’s Heartbeats (where she appears on the recording as well). As a proud citizen of Gwinnett, Ann-Carol is most proud of Aurora Theatre winning the first ever Pinnacle Award for Large Non-Profit. This goes well with her nomination for a Women’s Legacy Award in 2006, her Suzi Bass Award for A Catered Affair and her multiple nominations for A Year with Frog & Toad, Annie Get Your Gun and Godspell.

Cast & Crew

JC Long Clyde Barrow
Laura Floyd Bonnie Parker
Karen Howell Martha
Bart Hansard J Edgar Hoover
Bryant Smith Buck Barrow
Caitlin Smith Blanche Barrow
Tony Larkin Ray Hamilton
Steve Hudson Anderson / Uncle Floyd
Googie Uterhardt Ted Hinton
Greg Bosworth Ennis Butz
Rachel Miller Emma Parker
Jennifer Smiles Ensemble
Corey Bradberry Ensemble
Kevin Dougherty Ensemble

Anthony Rodriguez Producer
Lonny Price Director
Ann-Carol Pence Music Director
Josh Rhodes Choreographer
Ricardo Aponte Assistant to the Director
Jen Foote Assistant Choreographer
Phil Male Set Design
Bradley Bergeron Lighting Design
Joanna Schmink Costume Design
Bobby Johnston Sound Design
Monty Schuth Wig Design
EB Hooyer Props Design
Britt Hultgren Ramroop Production Manager
James M. Helms Technical Director
Sarah Thomson Scenic Artist
Katie Pelkey Stage Manager

Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale
Book by Hunter Foster
Music & Lyrics by Rick Crom
March 15–April 8, 2012

Performances:
Wednesday–Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets $25–$35

Wednesday Discount Matinee
April 4 at 10 a.m.
Tickets $16    678-226-6222   www.auroratheatre.com