Michael Donald Edwards drew gasps from the crowd Monday night at the Asolo Repertory Theatre when he announced the company’s plans to bring a pre-Broadway production of “Bonnie & Clyde” to Sarasota.
The show, which premiered in 2009 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, Calif., will open on the Asolo stage Nov. 19.
Composed by Frank Wildhorn (“Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel”) and with lyrics by Tony-Award-winner Don Black (“Sunset Boulevard”) and book by Ivan Menchell, the musical made national headlines during its five-week run last year in California.
The Asolo Rep will be the first theater in the country to stage the production before it goes to Broadway, a fact that Edwards, the theater’s producing artistic director, learned only three weeks ago.
A Depression-era musical based on the ill-fated exploits of bank robbers and lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, “Bonnie & Clyde” is directed by Jeff Calhoun (Deaf West’s “Big River,” “Pippin” and “Grease!”) and Wildhorn and Black’s score is ripe with blues and country western music influences.
Those who attended Edwards’ announcement yesterday were treated to a few rockabilly tunes; a teaser intended to set the mood.
“It’s amazingly timely,” Edwards says of the classic outlaw tragedy. “I saw it in California, and the theater was filled with young people.”
Also on the 2010-2011-season lineup: the Tony Award-nominated drama “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose, the classic French farce “Boeing Boeing” by Marc Camoletti; comic playwright David Hirson’s “La Bête;” Ira Levin’s mystery whodunit “Deathtrap;” the heart-wrenching “La Meninas” (The Waiting Women) by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and the one-man show “George Gershwin Alone” by Hershey Felder.
“We’ve got something for everyone,” says Edwards of the coming repertory season.
Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].