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Theatre / Bonnie and Clyde

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Bonnie and Clyde is a stage musical with music by Frank Wildhorn. It presents a deliberately fictionalized account of the two criminals' rise to fame, showing it beginning as a romance between a good girl and a bad boy.

It was not historically accurate, but was not meant to be. It premiered in December and ran for less than one hundred performances, joining several of his works which were known to be flops.


However, it did end up leading Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes to stardom, and has since, at least among theatre geeks, become an Acclaimed Flop.

Not to be confused with the film of the same name.

Bonnie and Clyde includes examples of:

  • Abled in the Adaptation: The real Blanche Barrow was left blind in one eye in the same shooting incident that killed her husband Buck. The musical makes no mention of her sustaining such an injury.
  • Dark Reprise: "God's Arms Are Always Open" is originally sung at a church, where Clyde's brother Buck turns himself in to the police after his escape. The reprise is a duet between him and his wife, Blanche, as he dies in her arms, with her assuring him that he can still make it to heaven.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Averted; while the prison guards seem to think that Clyde being raped at the hands of his cellmate is amusing or deserved, it's still portrayed as causing Clyde great pain, and is decidedly not played for laughs.
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  • Death Song: The reprise of "God's Arms Are Always Open" is one for Buck.
  • Historical Domain Character: Bonnie Parker, and Clyde, Buck, and Blanche Barrow were real people.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: Buck swears up and down that he can't go back to prison because of how terrible it was. His wife persuades him to turn himself in anyway, though.
  • "I Want" Song: "Picture Show", the opening number, showcases young Bonnie's desire to be an actress and Clyde's desire to become an outlaw in the same vein as Billy the Kid.