Over the years, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have been immortalized in books and movies. Now their story of romance and escapades is live on the Ice House stage, supported by rockabilly, country and gospel music that will have your toes tapping.
“Bonnie & Clyde: A New Musical” goes beyond the excitement of their notorious crime spree, providing insights into the people. Who were Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow? What were their beliefs about family and the law?
Rebecca Coffey describes Bonnie as “a dreamer. She didn’t start out a bad girl. She was a typical girl swept away in the thrill and excitement of what Clyde could offer her.” Coffey says she is excited to be portraying Bonnie and loves the history of the play.
Jonathan Wheeler (Clyde Barrow) is new to the Ice House Theater, but is a veteran actor with numerous credits in Fresno, Clovis and Reedley. “Clyde was a womanizer until he met Bonnie,” he explains. “He would do anything for her; yet they were abusive to each other.” Wheeler had other theatrical plans for the summer, but when he heard the music from “Bonnie & Clyde,” he knew this was the show for him.
After experiences with the West Dallas Police, the law meant little. Family was everything to Bonnie, Clyde, Clyde’s brother Buck (Louis Lyons) and Buck’s wife, Blanche (Krystle McWells). Their close relationship is what got them all in trouble. McWells noted that in the end, “Blanche was the only one alive and went to prison for six years even though she never committed a crime.”
Lyons is a newcomer to the Ice House stage, but not to Visalia. He came back to Visalia after law school. “My first experience has been great,” he says. “There is a real sense of community among the cast and crew.”
Marcus Cardinas portrays Ten Hinton, who was a deputy sheriff at the time Bonnie and Clyde were killed. Cardinas is also new to the Ice House, but has been involved in theater in Clovis.
In addition to the five major characters, the production features a supporting ensemble of 18. Director Corey Ralston is very proud of his versatile cast. “The show has an epic quality,” he says. “The music is incredible. ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ is a love story for the ages, a fascinating historical tale.”
After the August 17th matinee, “Back Stage at the Ice House” will be hosted by Sharon DeCoux, a veteran Visalia Player. Audience members will have an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the cast and crew.
“Bonnie & Clyde” runs for three weekends at the Ice House Theater at Race and Santa Fe in Visalia. Evening performances are at 7:30pm on August 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23, and matinees are at 2pm on August 10, 17 and 24. To purchase tickets, visit www.visaliaplayers.org or the “Visalia Community Players” Facebook page, or call 734-3900.